Mike Miller Eismeier '14 Shares His Passion For Math at Columbia University
Mike Miller Eismeier is a Ritt Assistant Professor at Columbia University, where he has focused his energies on teaching in the hopes of passing forward some of that same excitement his Santa Clara professors passed on to him.
Mike Miller Eismeier '14 majored in mathematics at Santa Clara University, attending from 2010 to 2014. He came with the intent to pursue a degree in political science and economics, only to be convinced by his first-year classes that applied mathematics more closely fit his interests; it was his second-year classes that convinced him he was deeply curious about the more theoretical aspects, too. While at Santa Clara his interests were honed by independent study classes, led by Professors Glenn Appleby and Richard Scott (among others), who helped shape his interests and his drive. He also wrote an article with Professor Emeritus Ed Schaefer, giving a topological answer to a generalization of a well-known math puzzle.
From 2014-2019, he worked on his PhD in topology at UCLA, with Ciprian Manolescu. His area of specialty was Floer homology in the larger area of 3- and 4-dimensional topology. These fields try to understand 3- and 4-dimensional shapes and how they interact, and especially to answer the question "How can you break up 4-dimensional shapes along 3-dimensional ones?" These questions --- and the tools used to solve them --- have received attention from theoretical physicists in recent years, who see these tools as an outgrowth of "quantum field theory", and have revitalized the longstanding collaboration between physicists and mathematicians.
He is currently (2019-2023) a Ritt Assistant Professor at Columbia University, where he has focused his energies on teaching in the hopes of passing forward some of that same excitement his Santa Clara professors passed on to him.