We all know research goes on in areas such as psychology and biology, but in mathematics? The answer is yes! Math is actually a field where very close collaboration is crucial among those doing research. Dr. Gary Kennedy, Professor of Mathematics, has been doing research for the past 30 years. He has conducted research with other OSU-Mansfield faculty such as Dr. Mirel Caibar and Dr. Lee McEwan.
His research specialization is in algebraic geometry. He describes this as a subject that “sits at the center of the Math world and interacts with lots of other subjects.” Dr. Kennedy will take a whole system of equations and understand where the set points are. “You’re very constrained by the rules,” he says. “Yet, what you want to do is discover something new and creative that satisfies those rules.”
Dr. Kennedy believes that collaboration is more important in mathematical research than individual work. “Everyone can tell you how something can be improved and how it should be looked at from a different point of view,” he says. During these sessions, math researchers share a whiteboard by taking turns to write equations and discuss their relationships among other mathematical theories.
Sometimes the goal is to discover new ways to think about equations, given some existing theories. Among his many publications, Dr. Kennedy’s biggest research achievement was made using quantum cohomology. He recalled, “My colleague and I came up with answers to 100 year old equations that had never been given before.” A list of Dr. Kennedy’s publications can be found here.
Students interested in majoring in mathematics can take some coursework at OSU-Mansfield and finish on Columbus campus. Research opportunities with OSU-Mansfield math faculty could be possible with the completion of these upper-level courses.
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