History of the Department


Hardy Grant, of York University in Toronto, helped us get off to a good start in this academic year by giving a University Lecture on the history of the liberal-arts tradition. Professor Grant described the large and crucial role that mathematics has played in the rise of liberal education. A few weeks later, Nick Bennett, class of '91, gave a talk on his work at Schlumberger-Doll, where he is incorporating wavelet techniques with Bayesian probability to aid drillers in search of oil.

The Annual Homecoming Lecture will be given by Matt Cathey, class of '98, on circle-packing and its relation to conformal mapping and to current ideas about brain-mapping. In January, Catherine Cavagnaro will replace Laurence Alvarez as chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. This spring it is Sewanee's turn to host the Sewanee-Rhodes-Hendrix Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium, an annual event that began some twenty-five years ago. This year's Sherwood Ebey Lecture will be given at the symposium by Anant Godbole.

We are greatly saddened to report the recent death, following a long illness, of our longtime colleague, Stephen Puckette. Steve gave two invited addresses to the Southeastern Section and will be remembered fondly by many of its members.

(Submitted by William Priestley, 2002)