History of the Department


Jennifer Mann, class of ’93, now at UT-Austin, will give this year’s annual homecoming lecture on DNA knotting, a topic considered in her recently completed Ph.D. thesis at Florida State. Grace Kennedy, class of ’06, has collaborated with local faculty to produce a joint paper on probability that will appear in the Monthly. The paper grew out of Grace’s work with Doug Drinen during the summer following her graduation.

Mac Priestley gave a talk last spring at the Sectional Meeting of the MAA at Georgia Southern.  The other two plenary lectures were given by Davidson professor John Swallow, Sewanee class of ’89, and Joe Gallian, the new president of the MAA. Joe Gallian will give the annual Ebey lectures here this fall. Ed Burger and Keith Devlin gave the last two Ebey lectures.

Miller Puckette, UC-San Diego, gave a workshop and lecture at Sewanee in October in connection with Stephen Carl’s current seminar studying Puckette’s 2007 book on Pd, the graphical programming environment for multimedia that he developed. Malcolm Lane of James Madison University spoke more recently about computer technology in developing countries

Lucia Dale and Emily Puckette have returned from sabbatical leaves last year, Chris Parrish is currently on sabbatical, and Doug Drinen will take sabbatical leave this spring.  We are delighted to have Mozhgan Mirani teaching in their place. Mozhgan recently received her doctorate from Vanderbilt. Emily Puckette is our new chair, taking over from Catherine Cavagnaro, who had served in this capacity for five years. Lucia Dale took a student this fall to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computer Conference in Orlando, FL.

The renovation of Woods Laboratories, in which our department has been located, has forced us to lose permanently several offices and two classrooms, so that we are now working out of several different buildings. We look forward to closer accommodations and a less hectic life when the current work is completed.

(Submitted by William Priestley, 2007)