Mathematics Associations

Major Contract 2010

Course Cycles

The following Math courses are offered every semester:

  • 100 (Topics in Mathematics)
  • 101 (Calculus I)
  • 102 (Calculus II)
  • 207 (Multidimensional Calculus)
  • 210 (Linear Algebra)
  • 215 (Discrete Mathematics)

The department also offers Stat 204 - Introductory Statistics every term, and Math 212 - Differential Equations is offered once each academic year.  Other intermediate and advanced mathematics courses are offered in a two-year cycle. Typically, Probability and Real Analysis are offered in the fall semester of even-numbered years, while Abstract Algebra and Topology are offered in odd-numbered falls. If there is sufficient interest, the sequels to those courses are offered in the corresponding spring semesters.

Sewanee-Rhodes-Hendrix Symposium

Each spring for the last several years the three schools, Sewanee, Rhodes College (located in Memphis, Tennessee), and Hendrix College (located in Conway, Arkansas) hold a one-day symposium at one of the schools. During this day students from each of the three schools make presentations, and an invited speaker gives an address. In recent years students who gave presentations at earlier symposia and have since obtained a Ph. D. have been invited speakers. We hope this happy trend continues. The 2009--2010 symposium will be held at Rhodes College on April 16th and 17th. If you are interested in participating, contact Doug Drinen

Student Competitions

In recent years, Sewanee math and CS students have participated in the following competitions:

The Annual Sherwood Ebey Lecture

The Annual Sherwood Ebey Mathematics Lecture is an endowed lectureship with the goal of presenting mathematically sound ideas in a manner that makes them accessible to a general audience. In each of the years of its existence, the lecture has been attended by a diverse group of students, faculty, and members of the local (and not so local) community. The topic under discussion at the lecture often sparks active conversations and debate among the attendees during the reception following the lecture.

2015-16 The Convolution Brothers (Miller Puckette, University of California-San Diego; Cort Lippe, University at Buffalo; Zack Settel, University of Montreal)

This computer music trio mixes vocalizations with real-time audio processing via PD and Max/Msp software environments. The trio came together at IRCAM, the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique in Paris where they worked as researchers and composers. 

2014-15 David Royster, University of Kentucky 

David Royster, Sewanee Class of 1973, holds the position of Professor of Mathematics Outreach at the University of Kentucky. He received his PhD from Louisiana State University, where he focused on geometry and topology. More recently his work has broadened into the education of K-12 math teachers. 

2013-14 Paul Zorn, St Olaf College

Paul Zorn is a professor of mathematics at St Olaf College in Northfield, MN and a past president of the Mathematical Association of America.  Zorn's professional interests include complex analysis, mathematical exposition, textbook writing, and the role of mathematics among the liberal arts. He is also interested in using computer graphics and computer algebra systems to help students learn and explore mathematical ideas.

2012-13 Rayid Ghani, University of Chicago

Rayid Ghani, Sewanee class of 1999, was the chief scientist in the Obama for America 2012 campaign, focusing on analytics, technology, and data.  He is currently Director of the Center for Data Science and Public Policy, Chief Data Scientist at the Urban Center on Computation and Data, Research Director at the Computation Institute, and a Senior Fellow at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. He is also the co-founder of Edgeflip, an analytics startup that grew out of the Obama 2012 Campaign, focused on social media products for non-profits, advocacy groups, and charities.

2011-12 Thomas Banchoff, Brown University

Thomas Banchoff is a distinguished mathematician who has received national awards as a teacher and scholar.  He is a former president of the Mathematical Association of America, was Brown’s dean of students around 1970, and was very active in the Society for Religion in Higher Education.  He was one of several mathematicians to collaborate with the artist Salvador Dali.

2010-2011 Michael Starbird, University of Texas at Austin

Michael Starbird is Professor of Mathematics and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor at The University of Texas at Austin. He received his B.A. degree from Pomona College and his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He joined the faculty of the Department of Mathematics of The University of Texas at Austin, where he has stayed except for leaves as a Visiting Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey; a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of California, San Diego; and a member of the technical staff at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

2009-2010 Rebecca Goldin, George Mason University

Rebecca Goldin is a professor of mathematics at George Mason University and the research director for Statistical Assessment Service (STATS), nonprofit  media education and watchdog group affiliated with George Mason University. STATS takes critical aim at the poor use of statistics to justify false claims or to back-up ideological agendas, while serving as a resource for journalists and producers who want to engage in high-level responsible reporting that takes into account what the science says, what it doesn't, and what it can't.


2008-2009 Mark Guzdial, Georgia Tech

Mark Guzdial is a Professor in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. Guzdial is faculty in the School of Interactive Computing, and is a member of the Graphics, Visualization, and Usability Center. He received his Ph.D. in education and computer science (a joint degree) at the University of Michigan. The author of many books, Mark Guzdial's current research centers on Computing Education and specifically on contextualized computing education. Philosophically, he is a constructivist, even a constructionist, but he sees a need for support to enable and facilitate a student's construction of artifacts and knowledge.

2007-2008 Joseph Gallian, University of Minnesota-Duluth

Joseph Gallian is the Morse Alumni Distinguished University Professor of Teaching at the University of Minnesota, and the current President of the Mathematical Association of America.

2006-2007 Keith Devlin, Stanford University 

Keith Devlin is Executive Director of Stanford University's University Center for the Study of Language and Information and a Consulting Professor of Mathematics at Stanford. He is a regular contributor to NPR's popular magazine program Weekend Edition as well as other national radio programs both in the United States and in his native Britain. He is the author of 25 books and over 70 research articles. Devlin is heavily engaged in promoting the public understanding of mathematics and its role in modern society, topics on which he lectures extensively around the world.

2005-2006 Edward Burger, Williams College

Edward Burger is Chair and Professor of Mathematics at Williams College. His research interests are in number theory, and he is the author of over 30 research articles and six books including "The Heart of Mathematics: An invitation to effective thinking" (winner of a 2001 Robert W. Hamilton Book Award), and his recent general audience book, "Coincidences, Chaos, And All That Math Jazz." Burger was awarded the 2000 Northeastern Section of the Mathematics Association of America (MAA) Award for Distinguished Teaching and 2001 MAA Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo National Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. In 2002-2003 he was the Ulam Visiting Professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was awarded the 2003 Residence Life Teaching Award. Burger is an associate editor of the American Mathematical Monthly. The MAA named him the 2001-2003 Polya Lecturer. In 2004 he was awarded Mathematical Association of America's Chauvenet Prize. In 2006 Reader's Digest listed him among the "Best of America".

2004-2005 Selwyn Hollis, Armstrong Atlantic State University

Selwyn Hollis received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 1986. His mathematical interests lie primarily in differential equations, numerical analysis, and mathematical biology. He spends much of his spare time programming in Mathematica.

2003-2004 Mike Reed, Bishop-MacDermott Family Professor of Mathematics at Duke University

Mike Reed received his Ph.D from Stanford in 1969. He is engaged in several research projects involving both applications of mathematics to physiology and medicine and questions in analysis that arise naturally in this context.

2002-2003 Anant Godbole, East Tennessee State University

Anant Godbole received his Ph.D in statistics and probability from Michigan State University in 1984. Since then, he has worked and published extensively with both undergraduate and graduate students.

2001-2002 Nancy Amato, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Texas A and M University.

Nancy Amato received her Ph.D in 1995 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests are in motion planning, robotics, computational geometry, computer-aided design, virtual reality, parallel and distributed computing, parallel algorithms, and performance modeling. She has received many awards for her teaching and has been recognized for her research.

2000-2001 Stan Wagon, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Macalester College.

Stan Wagon received his Ph.D in 1975 from Dartmouth College. He has made major contributions to the community of Mathematica users. His interest in differential equations led him to construct his square wheeled bicycle and the surface on which it will ride smoothly. His work and outside interest lead him to participate with and captain the Minnesota team in several Annual Breckenridge (Colo.) International Snow Sculpture Championships.

1999-2000 Max Morris, Professor of Statistics, Iowa State University and former Senior Research Staff Member, Statistics Group, Mathematical Sciences Section, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Max Morris received his Ph.D in 1977 from Virginia Tech. His interests include experimental design, spatial sampling and modeling, change detection techniques, and the design and analysis of computer experiments.

1998-1999 Tom Mitchell, Carnegie Mellon University

Tom M. Mitchell is the Fredkin Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Learning in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also Director of the Center for Automated Learning and Discovery, which focuses on datamining and new computer learning algorithms.

Mitchell is best known for his work on machine learning, where he has developed algorithms that allow computers to automatically improve with experience, software that learns to customize to its users, robots that automatically learn about their environment, and web browsers that learn to extract information from hypertext. He is the author of the widely used textbook Machine Learning. Mitchell received the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award in 1983, has been a Fellow of the AAAI since 1990, and has been a member of the National Research Council Computer Science and Telecommunications Board since 1998.

Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon University in 1986, Mitchell taught at Rutgers University. He received his B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973, and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1979.

Lectures from previous years  

1997-1998 - Tommy Wright of the United States Bureau of the Census.

1996-1997 - William Dunham, Professor of Mathematics at Muhlenberg College.

1995-1996 - Barry Cipra, Mathematical writer (for Science, SIAM News and other publications).

1994-1995 - Thomas Boardman, Professor of Statistics at Colorado State University.

1993-1994 - Paul Halmos, Professor of Mathematics at Santa Clara Uinversity.

1992-1993 - Gian-Carlo Rota, Professor of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Mathematics Major and the 3/2 Engineering Program

 A Mathematics major in the 3/2 Engineering Program must successfully complete the equivalent of the following introductory courses:

  • Mathematics 101, 102, & 207 (the Calculus sequence);
  • Mathematics 210 (Linear Algebra); and
  • Mathematics 215 (Discrete Mathematical Structures);

 and the following three requirements:

  • Three advanced courses selected from Differential Equations (Math 212) and Mathematics courses numbered 300 or above.
  • One two-course sequence selected from the following topics:  (1) abstract algebra; (2) analysis (real analysis I, real analysis II, complex analysis);  (3) topology (pointset topology, algebraic topology);  (4) probability & statistics.
  • Three advanced courses at the designated engineering school.