History of the Department


Robin Rotman, who minored in mathematics, became Sewanee’s 24th Rhodes Scholar this spring.  She is now studying geology at Oxford University. A mathematics minor, Will Copeland, was valedictorian of the class of ’04. Will is now at Ohio State University studying economics. Ross Sowell, a junior majoring in computer science, is a recipient of a Goldwater Scholarship.

Our department is happy to welcome Stephen Carl, who has accepted a tenure-track appointment. Stephen, an alumnus of Rice, is working on his Ph.D. degree in computer science at Wright State University.

At the MAA’s annual meeting last year Doug Drinen was co-organizer of a popular section on “Mathematics and Sports” that attracted the attention of the news media. Doug will help organize a similar session at this year’s meeting. Mac Priestley’s article “Plato and Analysis,” an excursion into philosophy, is slated to appear in the Mathematical Intelligencer. Fred Croom’s book, Principles of Topology, has just been re-issued in paperback by Thomson Learning. Springer-Verlag has recently published a new edition of Clay Ross’s differential equations text, which uses Mathematica. Springer’s Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics series now includes books by three Sewanee authors.

In April, Michael Reed of Duke University, gave last year’s Ebey Lecture, speaking on mathematical biology. This year the Ebey lecture was held in September, when Selwyn Hollis of Armstrong Atlantic State University discussed differential equations and their use in modeling biological phenomena. A book written by Hollis had been the focus of a faculty seminar led by Chris Parrish. The annual Homecoming Lecture this year will be given by David Rose, class of ’01, who has completed his master’s degree in mathematics at the University of Illinois. David will talk about cryptography.

Laurence Alvarez, class of ’59, will be retiring at the end of this year. After earning his doctorate at Yale, Laurence returned to teach mathematics in 1964. He has since served the college well in several administrative capacities including Assistant Provost, and he recently completed a term as Chair of the department. We shall miss him greatly.

(Submitted by William Priestley, 2004)