Northeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America

Fall 2004 Meeting - WPI

Biographies of Invited Speakers

P. K. Aravind

P.K.Aravind received his B.Sc and M.Sc degrees from Delhi University in Delhi, India. He received his Ph.D degree in theoretical physics from Northwestern University and then held research positions at the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined WPI in 1984 and is currently a professor in the Department of Physics. His research over the years has spanned the areas of condensed matter physics, surface physics, quantum optics, Bell's theorem and the foundations of quantum mechanics, and quantum information theory. He has taught for many years in WPI's FRONTIERS program, a summer program designed to draw more high school students into science, mathematics and engineering.

Arthur Benjamin

Arthur Benjamin earned his B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon and his PhD in Mathematical Sciences from Johns Hopkins. Since 1989, he has taught at Harvey Mudd College, where he is Professor of Mathematics and past Chair. In 2000, he received the Haimo Award for Distinguished Teaching by the Mathematical Association of America.

His research interests include game theory and combinatorics, with a special fondness for Fibonacci numbers. He recently co-authored (with Jennifer Quinn) "Proofs That Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof", published by MAA. Professors Benjamin and Quinn are the co-editors of Math Horizons magazine, published by MAA, read by more than 20,000 math students in the nation.

Art is also a magician who performs his mixture of math and magic to audiences all over the world, including the Magic Castle in Hollywood. He is currently on sabbatical at Brandeis University.

David Bressoud

David Bressoud is DeWitt Wallace Professor of Mathematics at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Antigua, West Indies (1971-73), received his Ph.D. (1977) from Temple University where he studied with Emil Grosswald. He taught at Penn State from 1977 to 1994, becoming a full professor in 1986. He has held visiting positions at the Institute for Advanced Study (1979-80), University of Wisconsin (1980-81 & 1982), University of Minnesota (1983 & 1998), and the University of Strasbourg (1984-85). He has received the MAA Distinguished Teaching Award and the MAA's Beckenbach Book Award for Proofs and Confirmations: The Story of the Alternating Sign Matrix Conjecture. He has published over fifty research articles in number theory, combinatorics, and special functions, and his other books include Factorization and Primality Testing (1989), Second Year Calculus from Celestial Mechanics to Special Relativity (1991), A Radical Approach to Real Analysis (1994), and, with Stan Wagon, A Course in Computational Number Theory (2000). He currently serves as Chair of the College Board's AP Calculus Development Committee, Chair of the MAA's Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics, and as Director of Macalester's FIPSE and NSF-sponsored program "Quantitative Methods for Public Policy."

Ezra Brown

Ezra (Bud) Brown grew up in New Orleans, has degrees from Rice and LSU, and professes mathematics at Virginia Tech, where he has been since 1969. The elliptic curve bug first bit him while he was in graduate school and has never really gone away. Although most of his research has been in number theory and combinatorics, he once wrote a paper with a sociologist. He has received the MAA's Allendoerfer Award, the Polya Award (twice), and the MD-DC-VA Section's teaching award. He enjoys singing in operas, playing jazz piano, gardening, and talking about his granddaughter Phoebe Rose. He occasionally bakes biscuits for his students.

Jack Graver

Jack Graver grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. He earned his bachelors degree from Miami of Ohio; his masters and doctorate from Indiana University. After two years at Dartmouth College as a John Wesley Research Instructor, he came to Syracuse where he has been for 35 years. He has published research papers in design theory, integer and linear programming and in several different areas in graph theory. He has authored or coauthored four books: two graduate level texts and two elementary level books one on rigidity theory and one on group theory and graph theory for students of architecture. In 1957 he joined the MAA and, during the 38 years he has been in the Seaway Section, he has held many offices including section chair and section governor. In 1993 he was awarded a Certificate of Meritorious Service by the MAA. He is also a long time member of the AMS, SIAM, NCTM and AMTNYS (Assoc. of Math. Teachers of New York State). Starting in the early 60s, he has taught a variety of summer workshops for high school teachers; in Indiana, New York, the Virgin Islands and England. It is an activity that he continues to find particularly satisfying.

Arthur Heinricher

Arthur C. Heinricher is Director of the Center for Industrial Mathematics and Statistics at WPI and a member of the Mathematical Sciences Department. He has advised more than 30 different industrial mathematics projects with subjects ranging from probabilistic analysis in insurance decisions to optimization and estimation problems in finance.

Joseph McKenna

Joe McKenna got his B.Sc. from U.C.D. in Dublin and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan with Lamberto Cesari in 1976. Since then, he has been professor of mathematics at the universities of Wyoming, Florida and (currently) Connecticut. He was also Professor of Applied Mathematics at U.C.C. in Cork from 1999-2000. His mathematical interests are all manner of nonlinear differential equations, ordinary and partial, especially existence and multiplicity properties, their numerical solution, and applications to vibrations in bridges and ships. Other distinctions include the University of Connecticut Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research. He is indentified at as one of the highly cited researchers in the mathematical sciences. Nonmathematical interests include theater and opera, cooking, history, and detective novels.

Ileana Streinu

Prof. Streinu's CV