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News From Krista Anken

Krista Anken '17 writes that she has been working at a US Air Force lab and is applying to graduate school, where she plans to take courses part-time, leading to a Master's degree. Krista was a computer science major at William Smith, with a minor in mathematics.

About her job, Krista says, "I work at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Information Directorate in Rome, NY. Our Mission is to explore, prototype and demonstrate high-impact, game changing technologies that enable the Air Force and Nation to maintain its superior technical advantage. The first few months I've spent time performing research and development of technologies focused on text analysis, geo-spatial object tracking and multi-intelligence data fusion."

Posted 7 December 2017

News From William Bird

Billy Bird '17, who majored in computer science at Hobart, writes with some news about what he has been doing since graduation.

Billy has been working for the past three months for the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. His position there is DevOps Engineer, and he says that he really likes the work and his co-workers.

Billy writes, "I'm working on an NSF (National Science Foundation) project, and we support 15 different internal and public applications. DevOps is super interesting (google it!). We're sort of 'generalists,' or 'full stack;' we support every application team through continuous integration, continuous delivery, automated testing, and other cool stuff. There's a big learning curve, but I'm having a blast."

Posted 6 December 2017

Honors Project

Frank Oplinger (Hobart '18), a double major in Computer Science and Physics, is working on an Honors project in computer science during his senior year. For his project, Frank — who is also a member of the Hobart hockey team — is designing and implementing a web site that can be used to record and share statistics for junior hockey players. The title of the project is ScoutPlus: A Web Application for Advanced Junior Hockey Analytics.

Honors at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is a two-semester project, culminating in a substantial Honors Thesis and an oral exam by a panel of three examiners.

Posted 2 December 2017

Mathematical Phylogenetics Scholars

In June of 2016, HWS was awarded a three year $180,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support research in Mathematical Phylogenomics. This grant made HWS one of only six institutions to receive funding for Mathematical Biology under the Research at Undergraduate Institutions designation.

A primary component of this grant program is the Mathematical Phylogentics Scholars program which provides long-term financial support for HWS students to conduct research in a unique blend of mathematics, computer science and biology. Current Scholars include Qingyi Lu, Jacque Kane, Jesse Maltese and Ally Doherty. The aim of this program is for scholars to gain admission to top doctoral programs in STEM fields, and to publish their research in peer-reviewed journals, and to present their findings at professional meetings.

Last year, participants presented their findings at the Mathematical Association of America's Spring Seaway Sectional meeting held at SUNY-Oswego. This year Jacque Kane has received a travel award from the Mathematical Associate of America to present her research at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego.

Students interested in learning more about this program should contact Professor Rusinko.

Posted 1 December 2017

Bochynski '08 Art Installation

Joe Bochynski (Hobart '08) has written to tell us that he is showing a new public work in the Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens in New York City. The installation is part of the Socrates Annual, which bills itself as "an annual exhibition of new public art that addresses the most urgent issues of today." Joe's work will be on view for the next six months. The title of the work is "POTUS, 2017". It is 12-by-12-by-5 feet in size and uses tile, cement, and stanchions. Two photos are shown below.

Joe was a double major in math and art who has gone on to make a career as an artist. Visit his web site at

Posted 3 October 2017

New Faculty Member

Alden Gassert joins the Department as a Visiting Assistant Professor for the academic year 2017–2018. Professor Gassert received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His mathematical interests include Number theory, Algebra, and Arithmetic Dynamics.

Professor Gassert previous held a postdoc position at the University of Colorado, and he has taught at Western New England Universty.

Posted 3 September 2017

Math Intern for 2017

Yu (Phoebe) Cai will serve as the Math Intern for the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science for the 2017–2018 academic year. Phoebe is a 2017 graduate of William Smith College, where she majored in Mathematics. The Department awarded her the 2017 Catharine Adele Rippey '35 Prize for excellence in mathematics.

As Math Intern, Phoebe will be available to offer help to students in calculus and precalculus courses.

Posted 3 September 2017

Luke DeLuccia '15 Does Robotics

Luke Deluccia '15, who majored in computer science at Hobart College, was profiled in an article on the HWS web site, DeLuccia '15 Pursues Career in Robotics.

Luke took a course in robotics and was inspired to pursue several independent studies on the topic with Professor John Vaughn. He also took part in a summer undergraduate research experience at the University of California, San Diego. He went on to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, where he completed an engineering master's degree in robotics in 2017. He has recently accepted a job with SRI International, a Stanford University spin-off that now serves as an independent, nonprofit research center. His position there focuses on vision and learning.

Posted 17 August 2017

Bidding Farewell to Retiring Faculty

Professors Kevin Mitchell, Carol Critchlow, and David Belding retired this year from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

David Belding was an undergraduate at Amherst College. He received his Ph.D. from Dartmouth College in 1980. Carol Critchlow was also an undergraduate at Amherst, and she received her Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1991. Kevin Mitchell was an undergraduate at Bowdoin College and received his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1980. Each of the three joined the Department in the year they received their Ph.D.

Belding and Mitchell are the authors of Foundations of Analysis, a textbook that has been used in Math 331. Mitchell is also the co-author of another textbook, An Introduction to Biostatistics. Critchow is the co-author of the CPSC 229 textbook, Foundations of Computation.

Although Mitchell, Critchlow, and Belding are no longer members of the teaching faculty, they continue as members of the HWS community as Professors Emeriti. The remaining members of the Department honor them for their service and wish them well as they move into the next phase of their lives.

Posted 1 June 2017

Departmental Prizes for 2017

At the end of each academic year, the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science awards a number of student prizes for academic excellence in mathematics or computer science. The prizes for 2017 were as follows:
  • The Robert Beinert Prize, awarded to a a graduating Senior for excellence in Mathematics, Duncan Lilley.
  • The John S. Klein Prize, awarded to a graduating Senior to recognize excellence in Computer Science, to Erin Condon, Duncan Lilley, and Brian Tosado-Prater.
  • The Catherine Adele Rippey '35 Prize, awarded to a William Smith Senior to recognize excellence in Mathematics, to Yu (Phoebe) Cai.
  • The Glenn M. Lee Prize, awarded to the Hobart Senior who has been most proficient in mathematics and athletics, to Sean Cunningham.
  • The Abigail Mosey Book Prize, awarded to a Hobart or William Smith Senior for generosity in helping others to learn and appreciate mathematical ideas, to Casey Coffey and Mark Curiel.
  • The William Ross Proctor Prize, awarded to the William Smith Sophomore who has achieved the highest rank in mathematics in her first two years at the Colleges, to Qingyi Lu.
  • The Irving Bentsen Prize, awarded to the second year student at Hobart College who has the most outstanding record in mathematics and computer science, to Christopher Stedry and Philip Joon Yoo.

For more about student prizes in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, including lists of past recipients, visit our department prizes page.

Posted 30 May 2017