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HWS Computer History

The Library has posted an on-line exhibit about the history or computers and computing at Hobart and William Smith Collges, Computers at HWS: A History. The history starts in 1966, when the Colleges' installed their first computer. And has sections on each of the following decades through 1994–2013, including the beginnings of the computer science major in 1984.

Posted 30 September 2019

News from Allison Doherty (WS '19)

Mathematics and Computer Science double major Allison Doherty '19 started working at SRC, Inc. in Syracuse just after graduation. Some of what she does is classified, but she was able to tell us a little about what she does. She says, "SRC has many projects going on but I'm part of the electronic warfare division. When US Air Force planes are traveling through other countries, they have radars which constantly communicate with other war types of machinery that are on the ground. The plane can tell which are friendly and made by SRC, or which ones are from an unfriendly country. If they're unfriendly, then our plane can ping down and receive information from that specific machine from the ground and find out all sorts of things about it, such as which country it's from, if it can shoot missiles, how high the missiles can go, etc. And the plane will use this info to defend us, for instance by telling the pilot to fly at a certain height so no missiles will reach it. It can also jam the machine on the ground so it thinks our plane is in a certain location when it really isn't. I'm a software engineer on the project for improving that technology."

Posted 13 August 2019

Curiel (H '17) Finishes Masters and Heads to PhD Program

Mark Curiel (H '17), who was a mathematics and music double major, has just finished his Masters in mathematics at San Jose State University. He researched with Dr. Elizabeth Gross (an algebraic statistician), and wrote a thesis on chemical reaction network theory which involves edge colorings in a special hypergraph. In August he heads to the University of Hawaii to work on his PhD!

Posted 10 July 2019

Professor David Eck Earns Faculty Teaching Prize

While the fact that Professor Eck is a highly skilled and beloved teacher is no news to students who have taken a class with him nor to colleagues who have worked with him, this year Professor Eck was recognized as such by the entire HWS faculty. Each year the Committee on Faculty Research and Honors chooses one faculty member from all submitted nominations to honor with the faculty prize for teaching. The winner for 2019 is Professor Eck! Read more about it on the HWS website here.

Posted 2 July 2019

Professors Bring REU Program to HWS

In 2018, Professor Rusinko, together with Professors Forde and King, won a grant to run a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in mathematics at HWS. The REU runs for nine weeks each summer with ten students, at least eight of which are from other institutions across the country. In the summer of 2018, mathematics major Nick Mckenny ’20 participated in the REU and this summer mathematics major Connor Parrow ’21 is participating. The majority of the mathematics faculty in the department will be participating as research mentors at some point over the course of the grant. During the summer of 2018, Professor Rusinko lead research in mathematical phylogenetics, Professor Biermann lead research in algebraic combinatorics, Professor Gassert lead research in number theory, and Professor King lead research in graph theory. This summer, Professor Rusinko again is leading research in mathematical phylogenetics, Professor Bell is leading research in graph theory, and Professor Forde is leading research in mathematical virology. Students experience researching closely with a faculty member and a team of peers, practice and hone their mathematical writing and presenting skills, participate in a colloquium series of invited speakers, and travel to graduate schools to learn about specific programs and the graduate experience in mathematics. Below is a picture of the Summer 2018 group at the final dinner and poster session.

Posted 2 July 2019

Brautigam (H'04) Completes MBA

Karl Brautigam '04, who was a computer science major at Hobart has written us with news that he has recently received a Master of Business Administration degree. He writes:

"I recently completed my MBA with distinction at the University of Connecticut School of Business. I continue to work in the Media & Technology sectors, presently as a research and strategy professional at Disney Advertising Sales, a unit of Disney Direct-To-Consumer & International (DTCI). I work within an organization that is part of the business unit of the Walt Disney Company that houses all of Disney's advertising sales, international and direct-to-consumer operations, including the forthcoming Disney+ subscription video on demand (SVOD) service."

Posted 25 June 2019

DeBrine Earns AMS Trjitzinsky Award

In September 2018, the AMS made $3,000 awards to each of seven students across the country through the Waldemar J. Trjitzinsky Memorial Fund, which is made possible by a bequest from the estate of Waldemar J., Barbara G., and Juliette Trjitzinsky. One of the seven students was our very own mathematics major Hadley DeBrine '20. In addition to her mathematics major, Hadley also has a studio art minor. She has a deep appreciation for mathematics and loves applying mathematical concepts to all aspects of her life such as in her art classes. Her professors have been impressed with her ability to understand the subtleties of proof, and believe she has a knack for unpacking abstract ideas. For more information on the award, check out the AMS announcement here.

Posted 5 June 2019

Student Prizes for 2019

Every year, the department awards several academic prizes to students. This year's prize recipients were:
  • The Robert Beinert Prize, awarded to a a graduating Senior for excellence in Mathematics, to Qingyi Lu.
  • The John S. Klein Prize, awarded to a graduating Senior to recognize excellence in Computer Science, to Erika Cardenas and Camera Finn.
  • The Catherine Adele Rippey '35 Prize, awarded to a William Smith Senior to recognize excellence in Mathematics, to Qingyi Lu.
  • The Glenn M. Lee Prize, awarded to the Hobart Senior who has been most proficient in mathematics and athletics, to Russell Merchant.
  • 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 Read Bohanan, Taylor Mancini, and Joon (Philip) Yoo.
  • 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 Alexandra Low, Connor Parrow, and Margaret Wagner.
  • 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 Collin Urie.

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

Posted 8 May 2019

Qingyi Lu Completes Honors Project

Qingyi Lu WS'19, a double major in mathematics and computer science, has completed an Honors project, "Machine Learning for Phylogenomics: Improving Statistical Binning Techniques for Species Tree Reconstruction." The project was mentored by Professor Joseph Rusinko.

An Honors project is a year-long independent project, usually undertaken in a student's senior year, culminating in substantial Honors theses and an oral examination by a panel of three examiners. Lu's project looked for ways of improving classification of organisms into phylogenetic trees. According to her abstract, "Phylogenetics studies the evolutionary history among a set of individuals, genes or species, which plays an important role in biology. Because past evolutionary events cannot be directly observed, statistical models are needed to estimate the phylogenetic trees. Consequently, accurate estimations of phylogenetic trees could provide effective evidence for studies in biology." In the project, Lu approached the problem by implementing "four machine learning techniques (K-Nearest Neighbors, Support Vector Machine, Random Forest and Neural Network)."

Posted 7 May 2019

Computer Science Majors and RockSat-C

Two computer science majors, William Elliman H'20 and Victoria Loshusan WS'20, are among the four students who make up the 2019 Hobart and William Smith Colleges RockSat-C team. RockSat-C is a program sponsored by NASA and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. The team has designed and built a system for measuring muon flux and magnetic fields that will be launched as one of the payloads on a sounding rocket. The payloads built by various teams will collect data during the rocket flight. The HWS team is one of nine teams that have been selected to contribute payloads to the project. Loshusan and Elliman will spend ten days in June at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility working on the project.

Posted 7 May 2019