Department News
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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

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

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

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

New Faculty Members

The department welcomes two new faculty members, starting Fall 2016: Jocelyn Bell and Jennifer Biermann.

Professor Bell received her Ph.D. in Mathematics, in the field of Topology, from SUNY Buffalo. She held a visiting position at West Point before coming to Hobart and William Smith.

Professor Biermann received her Ph.D. in Mathematics, in the field of Commutative Algebra and Combinatorics, from Cornell University. Before joining HWS, she held a visiting position at Mt. Holyoke College.

Posted 29 August 2016

Math Intern for 2016

Christopher Wilson has joined the department as the Math Intern for the 2016–2017 academic year. In this position, Chris will offer help to students in Calculus and Precalculus courses.

Chris is a 2016 graduate of Hobart College, where he was a double major in Mathematics and Physics. He plans to attend graduate school after his year as Math Intern.


Posted 29 August 2016

Distinguished Faculty Award: Ann Oaks

Ann Oaks, Professor Emerita of Mathematics, will receive a Distinguished Faculty Award on June 3, during HWS Reunion 2016. Professor Oaks is a 1974 graduate of William Smith College who went on to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester and who returned to HWS as a Professor Mathematics and Computer Science from 1979 to 2003. She is also a parent of three HWS alumni: Jeffrey A. Oaks '84, Kimberly O. Holmes '85 and Kathleen Menn-Oaks '89.

The award was presented by Elaine Bruno WS '91. You can read a PDF of Elaine's presentation speech here.

The Distinguished Faculty Award was established in 1990 by the Hobart Alumni Association and the William Smith Alumnae Association. It recognizes the teaching and scholarly achievements of professors who are retired or have moved on from Hobart and William Smith.

Other former Professors of Mathematics who have received the Distinguished Faculty Award include Irving Bentsen, Abigail Mosey, William Pitt Durfee, and Walter Hetherington Durfee.


Posted 20 May 2016

Joseph Rusinko Joins Department

Joseph Rusinko joined the department as an associate professor in the Fall semester of 2016. Professor Rusinko received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 2007, and has previously taught at Winthrop University in South Carolina. His research interests are in the area of applied algebraic geometry, and in particular its applications to phylogenetics.

Posted 2 March 2016

Tasha Williams, Math Intern for 2015-16

Tasha Williams joined the Department in Fall, 2016 to serve as the math intern for the academic year 2015–16. Williams received an M.S. in Operations Research in 1995 from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has taught mathematics for over ten years at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Posted 2 March 2016