MATH 301 Student Project Presentations

Everybody is cordially invited to presentations of two student projects carried out in Dr. Toke Knudsen’s MATH 301 (Introduction to the History of Mathematics) course this semester.

Both presentations deal with the history of the mathematics department at our College. The first presents a timeline of the department from the beginning in 1889 and the second focuses on the department today via a video documentary based on interviews with four faculty members in the department (Dr. Leah Bridgers, Dr. Laura Munteanu, Dr. Joshua Palmatier, and Dr. Charles Ragozzine).

Please find the titles and abstracts for the two presentations below.

The presentations will be delivered on Tuesday, April 25 at 3:30 p.m. in IRC 3.

Everybody is welcome! Please feel free to forward this invitation to anybody you think might be interested.


A History of the SUNY Oneonta Mathematics Department from 1889 to the Present
Rosemarie Casey; Sarah Cuddihy; Taylor DeMarco; and Erin Lapolla

The State University of New York at Oneonta, or SUNY Oneonta, was founded as the Oneonta Normal School (ONS) in 1889. In 1948, the ONS became a founding member of the State University of New York system (the SUNY system), and in 1951 it was officially renamed the State University College of Education. The institution was originally established as a normal school, that is, a college for teacher education. Mathematics has always been taught at the college, but the offering of mathematics courses has expanded immensely between the college’s foundation and the present day.

We have recently conducted extensive research on the history of the college’s offering of mathematics courses from the beginning in 1889 to the present day. We have discovered patterns in formats, requirements, and intensity of the courses being offered relative to mathematics. Throughout the years, not only has the college expanded its courses but there has also been an increase in the level of credentials that the instructional staff is being hired with. Notable faculty members include Dr. Vera Sanford, known her work on the history of mathematics and mathematics education. With more educated professors, one expects a more valuable and in-depth classroom experience.

We have prepared a timeline and presentation to describe the transformation of our institution. Our intentions are to share the advancements of the Mathematics Department at SUNY Oneonta (now the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics) and the effects that it has had on the student body throughout the years.


A Documentary on the Recent History of the Mathematics Department at SUNY Oneonta
Michael McDermott; Brendan O’Braitis; and Thomas Maurer

As part of a class project, we have produced a small documentary about the history of the mathematics department at SUNY Oneonta. The documentary consists of interviews conducted with four current mathematics professors within the department. The interviews were concentrated on the integration of new technologies and new courses to the department, as well as instructional methods that are found to be the easiest and most beneficial for the students at a collegiate level math class. The professors being interviewed are indicative of the changes over the years since they graduated from graduate school and were hired as professors. Reforms in the educational system and developments in educational technology that have impacted classrooms around the country are discussed in the film. This short film provides insight into the path of progress of educating the future mathematicians of today and tomorrow.