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Honors 2014: Mike Green and Nick Schmidt

Two students completed honors projects in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science during the academic year 2013–14. An Honors project is a year-long endeavour culminating in a long Honors thesis and an oral examination by a committee of three examiners.

Michael Green '14 did Honors in Mathematics, working with Professor Yan Hao. His honors project was titled "A Mathematical Model of College Friendships". Here is Mike's description of the project: "We are creating a computer model to study the social interactions between college students. In this model, we will use the exchange of available social hours between friends to study the interactions between friends. From this study we will look to find how well college friendships help students to distress, how long college friendships typically last, and the optimum number of friends to have."

Nicholas Schmidt '14 worked with Professor John Vaughn on an Honors in Computer Science. His project, "i3: An Environmental Sensor Base Station," is described as "My honors project is in two parts. One is creating a weather base station that collects weather and sensor data. The second is a mobile application that shows the collected data to the user. The base station is cube-shaped and the mobile platform will be iOS."

Posted 11 May 2014

CS Graduates at Beef-n-Brew

Many of the 2014 computer science graduates got together with Professor David Eck during the reading period between the end of classes and final exams. Here's a group photo with soon-to-be-alumni Joe Howe, John Darby, Jessie Hall, Kathryn Middleton, Erxin Du, Tom Charest, and Maddison Case. (Not present for the photo were CS graduates Nick Schmidt and Mark Benya.)

Posted 8 May 2014

Integrated Circuit Competes

The Mathematics and Computer Science Department again had a team running in the Seneca 7 relay around Seneca Lake. The 77.7 mile event took place on April 27 in cool conditions that were conducive to good running.

This year's team consisted of Abby Blumenthal (WS' 14) and faculty members John Lasseter, Yan Hao, Jon Forde, Stina Bridgeman, Carol Critchlow, and Kevin Mitchell. The last four have competed in all four of the Seneca 7's to date. The team shaved 20 minutes off last year's time to finish in 10 hours, 44 minutes, and 10 seconds (8:16 min/mi) and finished in 60th place out of 215 teams.

Posted 30 April 2014

Finalist for "The Pitch"

John Darby H'14 was one of the four finalists this year for The Pitch, an annual contest where students develop and promote ideas for products or services. The final contest was held on Wednesday, March 12. The finalists competed for a $10,000 prize by presenting their projects to a panel of judges made up of four HWS alumni who have been successful in the business world. (The day of the pitch turned out to have some of the worst winter weather that Geneva has seen in years, but it went ahead as scheduled.)

John Darby is a double major in computer science and architecture and is a member of the HWS Sailing team. His idea for the pitch arose partly from an independent study that he did in web site programming. John will attend graduate school next year in the architecture program at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Stu Lieblein '90 Pitch was held for the third time this year. It was established to promote entrepreneurial leadership and is organized by the Centennial Center for Leadership of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Posted 18 April 2014

In Memoriam: Professor Larry Smolowitz

Dear Members of the HWS Community,

It is with great sadness that I write with the news that Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Larry Smolowitz passed away Friday, December 20, 2013 at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Professor Smolowitz retired from teaching in 2004 after nearly 40 years of distinguished service to the Colleges. A valued member of our community, Larry chaired the Department of Mathematics on a number of occasions and served important roles in faculty governance. He will perhaps be best remembered for his dedication to the intellectual development of his students and for the many kindnesses he showed them. I can recall many evenings when, during my walk home from Coxe Hall, Larry would be in his office meeting with students to help them better understand calculus, abstract algebra, and probability.

A gifted mathematician, Larry received his bachelor's degree from RPI and his doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

Memorial contributions in his memory may be made to Temple Beth-El, Geneva Scholarship Associates at HWS, the Parkinson Research Foundation, or a charity of one's choice.

Mark D. Gearan

Posted 24 December 2013

Joe Bochynski (Math and Studio Art, 2007)

I'm excited to say this June I graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with my MFA! The thesis exhibit has come down, however there was a review that included my work out of the 200 grads shown: Really Big Show.

This piece is entitled "William and Patty Hearst."

Also, if you are in New York this July, my class of painting grads have a group show at Projekt 722. in Brooklyn. The opening is July 13th while the show runs from July 6 - 28.

You should know I'm still using what I learned in math/CS: my thesis drew on some vector field ideas and I typeset it in LaTeX!

Posted 1 July 2013

Department Prizes for 2013

Each Spring, the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science is pleased to recognize student excellence with a variety of departmental prizes. Here is the list for 2013:
  • The John S. Klein Prize, awarded to a graduating Senior to recognize excellence in Computer Science, to Alexander Kittelberger H'13.
  • 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 Samuel Heinle H'13
  • 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 Alana Kilcullen WS'15
  • 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 Ruiqian (Richard) Dai H'15 and Luke DeLuccia H'15.

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

Posted 29 April 2013

Alex Kittelberger Honors Project

Alexander Kittelberger H'13 has completed an Honors project with the title, Online Virtual Math Museum: Building a Virtual Math Museum with Modern Web Technologies and an XML Infrastructure. An Honors project is a year-long endeavour culminating in a long Honors thesis and an oral examination by a committee of three examiners. Alex's Honors Project was to create a website for mathematical visualizations. From equations to geometry, there are many different types of mathematical objects that can all be described in different forms. The “Online Virtual Math Museum” is designed to store and present information about mathematical objects in the form of a website. An XML language is used to define these mathematical objects, and a Java program is used to create webpages to present the objects visually. For this project, a framework was developed for a website that can display different mathematical objects. The framework can easily be extended and allows programmers to expand on the presentations. Alex's advisor for the project was Professor David Eck.

Posted 29 April 2013

Jon Forde Receives Tenure

Professor Jonathan Forde has been granted tenure at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. With tenure, Forde becomes a permanent member of the faculty of the Colleges and of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. Tenure also carries a promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor.

Tenure marks one of the most important milestones in the career of a professor. It is granted by the Board of Trustees after a careful review and recommendation by the Department, the faculty Committee on Tenure and Promotion, the Provost, and the President of the Colleges. The review generally takes place in the sixth year of teaching.

Posted 20 March 2013

Laser Tag in CPSC 336

Here is a picture from a "laser tag" project in Professor Vaughn's Robotics course (CPSC 336). The first project in that course in Spring 2013 was for each student to build and program a mobile robot to play laser tag. Each robot was equipped with a low power laser, laser detector, and infrared obstacle detector. Any robot hit by an opponent's laser was required to leave the arena. Each behavior-based robot was individually programmed with a strategy to apportion its limited power resources for lasers, movement, or general health. The contest was held in a darkened arena to maximize the laser effects.

Students in the photo, from left to right, are: Kieran Koehnlein H'13, Kingsley Adarkwah H'13, Sam Heine H'13, Ruiting Wang H'14, Mark Benya H'14, and Chazoi Hardware H'13.

Posted 18 February 2013