Faculty Spotlight: Richard Scott
Like several faculty members in the department of mathematics, Professor Richard Scott often dedicates a significant part of his summer research time to working with undergraduates. His main research areas are topology, geometry, and group theory. For Professor Scott, the goal is to find a problem that motivates and requires a student to learn some deeper mathematics and get a sense for what doing research in mathematics is about. In 2012, Professor Scott was awarded the College of Arts and Sciences Bernard Hubbard, S.J. Creative Collaboration Award for his success at engaging undergraduate students in research at a high level. He has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with some very talented mathematics majors, resulting in both single and jointly authored publications. Several of these students have gone on to complete PhD programs and now have faculty positions of their own.
Here are some highlights:
• Annie Garrison Wilhelm, class of 2001, worked with Professor Scott on a geometry project classifying 3-dimensional and 4- dimensional hyperbolic manifolds built from regular polyhedra (see SCU Stories). Their joint paper “Small covers of the dodecahedron and the 120-cell” was published by the Proceedings of the American Mathematics Society in 2003. Annie went on to complete her PhD in Mathematics Education at Vanderbilt and currently holds a faculty position at Southern Methodist University.
• David Nash, class of 2004 worked with professor Scott on a graph theory project investigating graphs related to permutation groups. David wrote a paper “Cayley graphs of symmetric groups generated by reversals” which was published by the Pi Mu Epsilon Journal and won the Andree Award for best paper published in the year 2005. David completed his PhD in Algebra at the University of Oregon, and now holds a faculty position at Le Moyne College.
• Rebecca Glover, class of 2008, worked with professor Scott on a combinatorial geometry project related to generating functions that count vertices in symmetric cube complexes (see SCU Stories). Their coauthored paper “Automatic growth series for right-angled Coxeter groups” was published by the journal Involve. Rebecca completed her PhD in Differential Geometry at the University of North Carolina, and she now holds a faculty position at the University of St. Thomas.