At Amherst College, the study of mathematics and statistics covers a wide range of pure and applied topics. The ideas of mathematics and statistics are not only beautiful and valuable in themselves but also relevant to many other disciplines, including biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, environmental studies and physics, as well as many of the social sciences.
Our introductory course offerings include Calculus, Linear Algebra and Applied Statistics. For students interested in mathematics as a liberal art, we also have courses such as Number Theory, Mathematical Modeling and Discrete Mathematics. In these courses, suitable for majors and non-majors alike, students learn the power of applications and enjoy the satisfaction of constructing rigorous proofs. For students who wish to inquire more deeply into the subject, a major in mathematics or statistics offers a full range of courses, together with the possibility of doing a senior honors thesis in either major.
Four Amherst students won Outstanding or Honorable Mention Poster Presentation Awards for posters on their research that they presented at the Joint Math Meetings January 2021:
Outstanding Poster Presentation
Andrew Tawfeek '21E, Noah Solomon '22, and Elizabeth Pratt '22
“Quantum Jacobi Forms and Sum of Tails Identities”
Advisor: Amanda Folsom (Amherst)
Honorable Mention Poster Presentation
Jonah Botvinick-Greenhouse '21 (with Aaron Kirtland, Washington University in St. Louis, and Megan Osborne, University of Scranton)
“An Unstructured Mesh Approach to Nonlinear Noise Reduction”
Advisor: Casey Johnson (Claremont Graduate University)
Congratulations to all of these students on their successful mathematics research!
Amanda L. Folsom will receive the 2021 Mary P. Dolciani Prize for Excellence in Research from the American Mathematical Society (AMS). Folsom is a Professor of Mathematics at Amherst College. She was awarded the prize for her outstanding record of research in analytic and algebraic number theory, with applications to combinatorics and Lie theory, for her work with undergraduate students, and for her service to the profession, including her work to promote success of women in mathematics. Congratulations to Professor Folsom!
Dan Velleman, Julian H. Gibbs '46 Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus, is a 2020 recipient of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Paul R. Halmos-Lester R. Ford Award. This award recognizes authors of articles of expository excellence published in The American Mathematical Monthly.
This is Prof. Velleman’s third time receiving this award, and marks the fifth time this award has been given to a faculty member in the Amherst Mathematics and Statistics Department in recent years: Tanya Leise, Brian Boyle Professor in Mathematics and Computer Science, won this award in 2008, and David Cox, William J. Walker Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus, won the award in 2012.
Congratulations to Professor Velleman! More about the award and his winning article can be found here: https://www.maa.org/programs-and-communities/member-communities/maa-awards/writing-awards/paul-halmos-lester-ford-awards
At the Joint Math Meetings in January 2019, held in Baltimore, Prof Amanda Folsom was a featured speaker, talking on “Symmetry, Almost.” She highlighted advances over the past decade involving mock modular forms.
Prof Rob Benedetto has a forthcoming book on non-archimedean dynamics at the graduate level, published by the AMS: Dynamics in One Non-Archimedean Variable. The theory of complex dynamics in one variable, initiated by Fatou and Julia in the early twentieth century, concerns the iteration of a rational function acting on the Riemann sphere. Building on foundational investigations of p-adic dynamics in the late twentieth century, dynamics in one non-archimedean variable is the analogous theory over non-archimedean fields rather than over the complex numbers. It is also an essential component of the number-theoretic study of arithmetic dynamics.
Statistics and Data Science (SDS) Fellows act as teaching assistants and also carry out research projects, for example, support for the sports analytics program, Institutional Research, or other parts of the college. Now in its fourth year, the SDS Fellows program is supported through the David and Jeanette Rosenblum Fund for Statistics Fellows, established by David Rosenblum ’92.
Prof Amanda Folsom, along with co-authors Kathrin Bringmann, Ken Ono, and Larry Rolen, has won the 2018 PROSE Award for Mathematics for their new book Harmonic Maass Forms and Mock Modular Forms, published by the American Mathematical Society.
Amherst College recently hosted StatFest, a national conference that encourages underrepresented students to pursue statistics and data science careers. This year’s conference included 150 attendees, including 80 undergraduates, from 90 institutions around the country. It was also live-streamed to Purdue University in Indiana and Pomona College in California. Find out more in the story, At StatFest, Diversity is the Greatest Value.
The Amherst College team with Ariella Goldberg ’19, Shashank Sule ’20, and Obinna Ukogu '18 won 1st place among 11 teams at the SCUDEM (differential equations modeling) competition that took place at Springfield College on April 20th, after working the previous week on developing their model. Their work also received the outstanding award. Congratulations!
Professor Nicholas Horton has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of his “distinguished research contributions to statistical and data sciences, creativity in statistics education and professional service developing curriculum guidelines for statistical education and computing.”
Math major Hui Xu '18 won honorable mention for the 2018 Alice T. Schafer Prize, a national award by the Association for Women in Mathematics for excellence in mathematics by undergraduate women. She was nominated by Prof Amanda Folsom. Hui will be honored at the Joint Meetings in San Diego at the AWM Reception and Awards Presentation in January.
The AMS Leroy P. Steele Prize for Exposition was awarded to three mathematicians: David Cox (Amherst College), John Little (College of the Holy Cross), and Donal O'Shea (New College of Florida) "for their book Ideals, Varieties, and Algorithms, which has made algebraic geometry and computational commutative algebra accessible not just to mathematicians but to students and researchers in many fields."
This course serves as an introduction to mathematical reasoning and pays particular attention to helping students learn how to write proofs.
Computational data analysis is an essential part of modern statistics and data science—this course provides a practical foundation to think with data by participating in the entire data analysis cycle.
A brief consideration of properties of sets, mappings, and the system of integers, followed by an introduction to the theory of groups and rings.
We’ve collected information on teaching as a summer experience, teaching after Amherst as a career, and taking a semester studying away to focus on mathematics education in Budapest.