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About Aparna Higgins

I love mathematics, and I love teaching. I enjoy reading mathematics and reading about it, I enjoy discussing mathematical things - even jokes, and I enjoy spending time with mathematicians and with students who are interested in mathematics. My current interests are in pebbling on graphs, a concept that can find applications to any kind of movement of supplies or information during which some loss of supplies or information can be expected. I am also interested in networks - if you have six cities and the means of connecting any nine pairs of those with cables, which pairs should you choose to create a "strong" network? Another research is purely mathematical and has no application that I know of - except to engage the mind - an area known as iterated line graphs. I am happy to work in a wonderful department with colleagues who are passionate about teaching and learning and mathematics, and who want to pass on this zeal to students who are interested.

I teach all kinds of mathematics and enjoy the material anew every time, be it calculus or abstract algebra, contemporary mathematics or analysis, linear algebra or graph theory. I like to try various types of course delivery and various types of assessment, to see whether some students benefit more by one or another. So, I often lecture, but I also have students work in groups, and assign projects, and web assignments. In my upper-level courses, students spend some time reading a paper in the mathematical literature, filling in gaps, and presenting the results as an expository talk.

The most fulfilling part of my career has been the privilege of working with undergraduates on mathematical research. UD provides interested undergraduates with the opportunity of writing a senior thesis in their major. See more on this program at http://honors.udayton.edu/. For those students who don't really want to commit a year researching a topic in mathematics, there are plenty of opportunities for a taste of such activity - working with some math faculty and then presenting results of your research at a mathematics meeting. I enjoy working with students on these shorter projects too. I was honored to be a co-director of an NSF-sponsored REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program here at the University of Dayton in the early nineties.

I am a co-director of Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching), which is a program of the MAA for new and recent Ph.D.s in mathematics. I love every aspect of this program (http://archives.math.utk.edu/projnext/), from selecting and meeting sixty new teaching colleagues each year, to organizing a workshop for them at the beginning of their year-long sojourn as a Project NExT Fellow, to helping them organize future workshops for themselves, to matching them with more experienced faculty who serve as consultants to the Fellows. This was a perfect fit for my interests and strengths after a long stint as one of the charter members of the MAA Committee on Student Chapters. I enjoy serving the MAA in various capacities - some of the more enjoyable assignments have been helping to select invited speakers at national meetings. I am also involved with the Ohio Section of the MAA, and served as its President a few years ago.

Positions

1984 Present Professor, University of Dayton Department of Mathematics
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Disciplines



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Honors and Awards

  • Teaching Award from College of Arts and Science
  • Alumni Award from UD
  • Award for Distinguished University for College Teaching from the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America

Courses

  • MTH 168, Analytic Geometry and Calculus I
  • MTH 430, Real Analysis

Education

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1983 PhD, University of Notre Dame
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1980 MS, University of Notre Dame
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1978 BS, University of Bombay
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Contact Information

Phone: 937-229-2103

Email: