Office hours: WF 1:00-3:00, or by appointment, in my office, HIN 104.
Courses of my design:
MATH 125 Mathematical
Perspectives: the Mathematics of Calendars and Timekeeping
MATH 125 Mathematical Perspectives: Strategies for Cooperation and Competition
MATH 147 Calculus from an Historical Perspective
Stuff I'm really interested in professionally:
History of Mathematics
I am cofounder (with Prof.
Dan Curtin, Northern Kentucky University) of the Ohio River Early Sources
in Mathematical Exposition (ORESME) Reading Group, a biannual seminar in the
Cincinnati area that meets to read significant original sources in mathematics.
The ORESME home page
is maintained by Prof. Curtin and me. At our next meeting in late October,
2013, at Xavier, we will read two pieces of the work of Karl Weierstrass (1815-1897),
one from lecture notes for a course he taught on the differential calculus
and the other the short paper in which he presented his pathological example
of an everywhere continuous but nowhere differentiable function.
History of Mathematics Archive at St. Andrews, Scotland, is one of the
neatest sites that exists on the Web. It is a substantial compendium
of all sorts of information about important mathematics and mathematicians
Joyce at Clark University maintains a great page on the history of mathematics.
David Pengelley (New Mexico State University) and I presented an MAA Minicourse,
Study the Masters: Using Primary Historical Sources in Mathematics Teaching,
at the Joint Mathematics
Meetings in Boston in early January, 2012.
I spent three weeks each during the summers of 1996 and 1997 at the Institute
on History of Mathematics and Its Use in Teaching (IHMT) at American University
in Washington, DC. The Institute was organized under the auspices of
the Mathematical Association of America
and was funded by the NSF through their Undergraduate Faculty Enhancement
program. I consider this experience a seminal one in establishing me as an
historian of mathematics.
Whenever I teach the History of Mathematics course here at Xavier, I arrange
a field trip with my students to visit the Rare
Book Collection at the University of Cincinnati. It houses a remarkably
large number of old books of historical importance in mathematics. Our visit
there is often the high point of the semester!
One of my distinguished colleagues at the IHMT, Ed
Sandifer (Western Connecticut State University), is a founding member
of the Euler Society. One of the
more exciting goals of the Society is to prepare English translations of as
much of the mathematical opus of the great eighteenth century mathematician,
Leonhard Euler. These translations are housed online at the
David Pengelley maintains a compendious website listing resources galore
for the use of history (and original sources in particular) in the mathematics
David Calvis at
Baldwin-Wallace College (Berea, OH) has a wonderful page of mathematics history
David Wilkins of Trinity
College, Dublin, maintains this nice page of historical resources.
The International Study Group on the Relations Between History and Pedagogy
of Mathematics, an affiliate of the International Commission on Mathematics
Instruction, has a newsletter and annual meetings. I plan to attend the next
quadrennial HPM 2012 meeting in Daejon, South Korea, this summer.
The Maya calendar site (maintained at the Maya World Studies Center in
Mérida, Yucatán, México) has a good article on Mayan
Japanese sangaku (temple geometry
problems) are exhibited at this page by Hiroshi Kotera. There is a related
page showing how sangi
are used to solve polynomial equations.
The Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale and the Istituto e Museo di Storia della
Scienza, both of Florence, Italy, and the Max Planck Institute for the History
of Science in Berlin have prepared an electronic
publication of the Ms. Gal. 72, a manuscript by Galileo Galilei.
An enormous collection of information is housed at the Virtual
Museum of Computing by Jonathan Bowen at the University of Reading (England).
The Number Theory Web
provides links to more than 1400 number theorists worldwide. Of special interest
is their constantly updated New
Listings page where one can learn about the latest news in the field.
Check out the Prime Pages,
the prime source of information on prime numbers! It is maintained
by Chris Caldwell at the University of Tennessee at Martin.
There is also an interesting page, designed by Chen Shuwen (at Jiang Xing
Electronic Ltd., in Jiangmen City, Peoples' Republic of China) and mirrored
at a server in France, on equal sums
of like powers of integers.
HOMSIGMAA (the History of Mathematics
Special Interest Group of the MAA): I am currently Chair of the SIGMAA.
Ohio Section (I now act
as the Section Archivist.) The Section is preparing for its Centennial
celebration in 2015-2016.
I helped to run a (very successful) MAA Ohio Section Summer Short Course
during the summer of 2008 here at Xavier University along with Prof.
David Pengelley (New Mexico State University). The course was entitled
the Masters: Using Primary Historical Sources in Teaching and Research.
Participants started work on individual projects creating classroom modules
based on primary historical documents for teaching a nice variety of mathematical
topics. David & I and the 11 participants had a great time!
The Ohio Section has put together a nice local resource called Ohio
Masters of Mathematics, a collection of short biographies of noted
personalities in the history of mathematics in Ohio.
Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, created by Neil Sloane,
is one of the most incredible sites on the web. Look up any important
sequence of integers and find out what it is and who has written about
a neat way to determine the next term of the sequence!
From 1991 to 2008 , I was the site coordinator for the OCTM
Mathematics Tournament (sponsored by the Ohio Council of Teachers
of Mathematics) for high school students, held on the last Saturday of
February at dozens of sites around Ohio.
project, led by Steve
Leon (University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth), was created to improve
the teaching of linear algebra, especially in the light of how electronic
computing packages like MATLAB, now widely available, can transform the learning
experiences of students.
Bibliofind, a rare books seller
in Great Barrington, MA (now a division of Amazon.com)
Octavo, preparing digital
productions of rare books in Palo Alto, CA
Other cool stuff:
I participate in the Xavier Univerity Bridge Marathon, a 12-pair social
party bridge game. We play 8 times a year, once a month, October to May; the
October and May sessions are on campus and the others are at members' homes.
Each meeting involves two tables (4 pairs) and 6 hands per table for a total
of 18 hands.
WVXU, was purchased from Xavier University
by Cincinnati Public Radio in 2006. Cincinnati Public Radio also runs
WGUC, the home of classical music on radio
in Cincinnati. WVXU provides NPR
programming, including the news programs Morning Edition, Weekend Edition,
and All Things Considered; also, Fresh Air, and Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me.
It also carries Echoes and A
Prarie Home Companion.
The best radio for my taste, however, is available in the U.S. only through
the internet. It's the thrice-weekly radio show Late
Junction, which plays eclectic classical, progressive, and world music
late nights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on BBC
Radio 3. I'm very glad that the BBC posts these shows for listening
up to 7 days after the original broadcasts; that way I can get my weekly
The New York Times is the best source
for news in the world, even if you don't live in the City.