Assistant Professor of Mathematics|
Science Center, Room 1306
TEL (508) 286-3973
When am I here? Check my schedule
For the last several years, I've been working on creating a course in Math and Art, connected to one of the Art History courses. This course has been very fun for me, but also challenging as I began with essentially no background in art. Topics I've covered in this class in the past have been: systems of proportion in art and architecture, creating works of art using the golden ratio, and ways to determine whether other artists intentionally used it in their art, perspective, using mathematical symmetry to classify works of art, the 4th dimension and non-Euclidean geometry and how they influenced many of the cubists, and fractals. Next, I'll be investigating tessellations and their connection to Islamic art.
All of my classes go well beyond rote problem-solving. I encourage my students to learn to read and write mathematically, and to work on open-ended problems in addition to the more traditional problems. In Calculus, I ask my students to respond to questions on the reading, via e-mail, every night, which has the dual purpose of helping me identify potential trouble spots and helping students learn to read math texts. In most of my classes, the students work on open-ended problems and write papers explaining their results. In Abstract Algebra, each student "adopted" a group and focused on it throughout the semester, with their work culminating in a final paper, while in Calculus, the students work in groups to solve problems proposed to them by "clients", and then they describe their results in a letter to the client.