News
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Faculty Changes for 2018–19

The Department welcomes two new Visiting Assistant Professors of Mathematics for the 2018–19 academic year. Professor Cristobal Lemus-Vidales, shown on the left below, received his Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 2017. His research interests are in the area of Enumerative Combinatorics and Mathematics Education. Professor William Simmons, shown on the right below, received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2013. His research interests include mathematical logic and its applications, differential algebra, formal methods and interactive theorem proving in computer science.

In other faculty news, Professor Alden Gassert continues as a Visiting Professor of Mathematics for a second year. Professor Yan Hao is on leave for the year, and Professor Jocelyn Bell is on leave for the Fall semester. Professor Joseph Rusinko will be spending the year as Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Affairs.

Posted 9 August 2018

Professor Vaughn Retires

Professor John Vaughn retired from teaching at the end of the Spring semester 2018, after thirty-three years of service to the department. Professor Vaughn received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1985, and he joined the department in the same year.

Although his Ph.D. was in mathematical logic, Professor Vaughn has long been an essential contributor to the Computer Science side of the department. His hardware courses, Embedded Computing and Robotics, have been particularly popular, and his expertise in that area will be hard to replace.

Professor Vaughn will be missed by his colleagues and students, but he continues his association with the Department and with the Colleges as Professor Emeritus.


Posted 17 July 2018

Department Student Prizes for 2018

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 2018 were as follows:
  • The Robert Beinert Prize, awarded to a a graduating Senior for excellence in Mathematics, Drew Scammell.
  • The John S. Klein Prize, awarded to a graduating Senior to recognize excellence in Computer Science, to Jacque Kane.
  • The Catherine Adele Rippey '35 Prize, awarded to a William Smith Senior to recognize excellence in Mathematics, to Jacque Kane and Theresa Lohr.
  • The Glenn M. Lee Prize, awarded to the Hobart Senior who has been most proficient in mathematics and athletics, to Lukas Ruddy.
  • 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 Wenshi Wang.
  • 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 Kaitlyn Geraghty and Kelsey Pierce.
  • 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 Jesse Maltese and Hugh (Nick) McKenny.

In addition to these prizes, we note that Frank Oplinger completed his Honors project in Computer Science, entitled "ScoutPlus: A Web Application for the Development of Advanced Hockey Analytics".

And two senior Mathematics minors were inducted into the national honor society Phi Beta Kappa: Lauren Kogelman and Mitchell Hutteman.

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

Posted 17 May 2018

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 www.joebochynski.com.

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