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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.

Sincerely,
Mark D. Gearan
President


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

Lectures on Elections and Fair Division

Steven Brams, Professor of Politics at New York University, will give twp public lectures at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, on October 2 and 3. The lectures will deal with the mathematics of election and of fair division.

The first lecture is titled, "Is There a Better Way to Elect a President?" and will be presented at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, October 7, in the Geneva Room. This talk is based on Professor Brams' recent article of the same name in which he describes the properties of approval voting, where voters can approve as many candidates as they like in a multicandidate election. This system has been adopted by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the American Mathematic Society (AMS) and several other professional societies. Brams argues that this system is a much simpler and more practical option than the plurality U.S. voting system. In addition, he will discuss other systems such as ranking systems and grading systems which have been widely discussed in mathematical fields.

The second lecture is titled, "The Win-Win Solution: Guaranteeing Fair Shares to Everybody" and will be presented in Room Napier 201 at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, October 3. Professor Brams describes this talk as follows: Cutting up a cake, dividing up the property in an estate, determining the border in an international dispute--such problems of fair division are ubiquitous. Beginning with "I cut, you choose," I will illustrate how rigorous methods can be applied to the analysis of a variety of procedures for allocating goods (or "bads" like chores), or for deciding who wins on what issues in a dispute. In particular, I will focus on procedures which provide "envy-free" allocations, in which everybody thinks he or she received the largest portion and hence does not envy anybody else.


Posted 26 September 2012

Alums in New York City

Three graduates of Hobart and William Smith Colleges met up for a night out in New York City recently. Yaoxin Liu was a Mathematics major. Marcela Melara and Shaun Viguerie majored in Computer Science. All three of them completed Honors projects during their senior year in the Department. Yaoxin and Shaun are working in New York City, while Marcela is attending graduate school at Princeton University.

Posted 22 September 2012

New Faculty Join Department

The faculty of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science has three new members this Fall.

Professor Yan Hao joins the department in a tenure-track position in applied mathematics. She received her Ph.D. from the College of William and Mary and spent a year in a post-doctoral position at Arizona State University before coming to Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Her interests include Computational Biology and Numerical Analysis.

Professor Eric Nelson and Professor Mark Radosevich join the department as Visiting Assistant Professors of Mathematics for the 2012--13 academic year. Eric Nelson completed his Ph.D. at Colorado State University and is interested in group theory, finite geometry, and mathematics education. Mark Radosevich's Ph.D. is from Brandeis University; his interests include low-dimensional topology and mathematics education.

         

Posted 22 September 2012

Deparment Prizes for 2012

The department awards a variety of student prizes at the end of each academic year. Here are the prizes for Spring 2012:
  • The Robert L. Beinert Prize, awarded to a graduating Senior to recognize excellence in Mathematics, to Yaoxin Liu H'12.
  • The John S. Klein Prize, awarded to a graduating Senior to recognize excellence in Computer Science, to Marcela Melara WS'12.
  • The Catherine Adele Rippey '35 Prize, awarded to a William Smith senior in recognition of superior achievement in mathematics, to Jessica Tarnatino WS'12 and Sarah Tarantino WS'12.
  • Abigail Mosey Book Prize, awarded to a Hobart or William Smith senior for generosity in helping others to learn and appreciate mathematical ideas, to Trevor Gionet H'12.
  • The Glen M. Lee Prize, to the Hobart Senior who has displayed the greatest proficiency in Mathematics and Athletics, to Shaun Viguerie H'12
  • The William Ross Proctor Prize, awarded to the William Smith sophomore who have achieved the highest rank in mathematics in their first two years at the Colleges, to Erxin Du WS'14.
  • 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 Bowen Wang H'14 and Brezeck Wang H'14.

Congratulations to all!

Posted 1 May 2012