Johnathan Bardsley Professor of MathematicsOffice: Math 210
Fax: (406) 243-2674
Official: 1-2pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
Un-official: set up an appointment, or knock if I am in my office.
Inverse Problems, Uncertainty Quantification, Computational Mathematics, Computational Statistics
Eric Chesebro Associate ProfessorOffice: Math 308
Tuesday 11-12, Friday 2-3, and by appointment
Geometric topology, especially knot theory and hyperbolic 3-manifolds.
I also used to be a sculptor and printmaker. Most of my artwork was designed using random numbers and elementary mathematics.
Kelly McKinnie Associate Professor and Associate Chair - Graduate ProgramOffice: Math 111
Finite dimensional division algebras, the Brauer group, valuation theory and algebraic geometry
Frederick Peck Assistant ProfessorOffice: Math 201
I'm always happy to meet! Just go to www.fapeck.com/meeting to schedule a meeting at a time that is convenient for you.
My research explores the educational implications of treating mathematics as a human activity. I take the perspective that all human activity is inexorably bound with culture: activity is "mediated" by cultural artifacts, and cultural artifacts are produced through human activity. I therefore take a cultural perspective on learning, studying the mutually constitutive nature of mathematical artifacts—including models, tools, strategies, representations, algorithms, and notation systems—and mathematical activity. I explore the ways in which artifacts are reinvented and made-meaningful in activity, and the ways in which these artifacts mediate future activity.
"Mediation" is a complicated word for a fairly simple idea. Here is the idea: Human activities take place in a cultural milieu and therefore thay always incoprorate pieces of prior human activiites. Thus human actions “involve not a direct action on the world but an indirect action, one that takes a bit of material matter used previously and incorporates it as an aspect of action” (Cole & Wertsch, 1996, p. 252). Here, the “bit of material matter” is a cultural artifact. In recruiting thses artifacts into activity, we distribute the labor across these artifacts. This is surely true for physical actions—consider how the activity of pole vaulting, for example, is distributed across the pole vaulter and the pole—but it is also true for cognitive actions. What this means is that I believe cognition is not something that happens “in the head”, but rather is distributed across resources in the environment. As Edwin Hutchins explains, “humans create their cognitive powers in part by creating the environments in which they exercise those powers.”
Broadly, then, I am interested in the ways that cognition gets distributed in math classrooms; how artifacts—such as models, tools, representations, and symbol systems—mediate learning in mathematics. To study this, I conduct classroom design experiments in high schools. My most-recent study took place in an Algebra II classroom, and explored how students learn quadratic functions. Prior work has explored how students develop a robust understanding of slope, and how students come to understand fractions-as-division.
Artifacts do more than meditate activity. As humans act with artifacts, the artifacts “act back” on the human actors, such that humans are constituted by culture. Thus, I am also interested in how students become particular kinds of people, and the ways that mathematics mediates students' educational and biographical trajectories. To study this, I conduct ethnographic work in educational and community settings.
Finally, I am interested in educational measurement and psychometrics. In this line of research, I interrogate the design principles behind educational assessments, and to explore ways of bringing learning theories to bear on the design of assessments. For example, if students "create their cognitive powers in part by creating the environments in which they exercise those power," then what does this mean for "traditional" tests which—by design—occur in cognitively impoverished environments?
Javier Perez Alvaro Assistant ProfessorOffice: Math 301
If these times don't work for you, please contact me to make an appointment.
My main interest are Matrix Analysis and Numerical Linear Algebra and its applications. These fields are a fundamental part of Numerical Analysis, Scientific Computing, and Computational Mathematics. More specifically my interests include (i) polynomial eigenvalue problems, matrix polynomials, and their linearizations; (ii) conditioning and backward error analyses; (iii) nonlinear eigenvalue problems.
Nikolaus Vonessen Professor and Associate Chair - Undergraduate ProgramOffice: Math 207
Monday: 11:00 - 11:50
Tuesday: 10:00 - 10:50
Wednesday: 1:00 - 1:50
Thursday: 11:00 - 11:50
Friday: 10:00 - 10:50
If these times don't work for you, please contact me to make an appointment!
Algebra, in particular non-commutative ring and invariant theory.