Glass Named Alumni Professor of Mathematics
By Josh Wagner, Opinions Editor
In 1888, the same year that the construction of Glatfelter Hall began, Dr. Henry Nixon began his tenure at then Pennsylvania College by taking the Alumni Professorship of Mathematics and Astronomy. During his 28-year tenure he was a popular campus figure and a leading academic. One of his works, a “Bibliography of Linear Differential Equations” was cowritten by J.C. Fields, the founder of the Fields Medal for outstanding achievement in mathematics.
Now 130 years later, Gettysburg College continues this tradition of honoring distinguished faculty members by awarding the Alumni Professorship in Mathematics to Professor Darren Glass.
Glass earned a B.A. at Rice University, and his M.A. and Ph.D in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania. After teaching for several years at Columbia University, Glass joined the mathematics department at Gettysburg College in 2005. While at Gettysburg, Glass has continued research projects in algebraic geometry, graph theory, and cryptography and particularly enjoys exploring the intersection of these areas of mathematics.
This endowed chair provides extra funding to ongoing work in teaching and scholarly endeavors to a professor in the mathematics department for a five-year term. Glass plans to use the funds and increased sabbatical opportunities associated with the endowed chair to hire student research assistants and to continue projects at University of California Irvine and the Instituto de Matematicas at UNAM Oaxaca in Mexico.
In the classroom, Glass does not like sinking into a routine: “I like teaching different courses rather than the same thing year after year. It’s fun to me teaching new courses.” Glass reports that he likes each of his courses for different reasons; however, when pushed, admits that his favorite course to teach is his first-year seminar on cryptography and abstract math, the mathematics department’s introduction to proof making.
Outside of the classroom, Glass is the Director of First-Year Seminar Program and an active community member. His favorite Servo cookies are “the cookies with Oreo cookies inside” because “It’s so meta!”