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Volume 9, Issue 3

Springfield College

Feb./March 2015

Math, Physics, & Computer Science

Departmental Newsletter
Spring Semester 2015

Dr. Peter Polito,
Schoo-Bemis 118
Ext. 3313
Professor Nina Dini
Schoo-Bemis 125
Ext. 3267
Professor Jeff Gagnon
Schoo-Bemis 114
Ext. 3648
Dr. Zenobia Lojewska
Schoo-Bemis 106
Ext. 3192
Dr. Tyler Markkanen
Schoo-Bemis 121
Ext. 3228
Dr. Eileen McGowan
Schoo-Bemis 104
Ext. 3343
Dr. Andrew Perry
Schoo-Bemis 125
Ext. 3193
Dr. Fides Ushe
Schoo-Bemis 116
Ext. 3668
Donna Wisniowski
Dept. Admin. Assist.
Schoo-Bemis 109
Ext. 3117

Classes Begin

Wednesday, 1/21

Last day to add first half activity courses

Thursday, 1/22

Last day to add full semester courses

Tuesday, 1/27

Last day to drop first half activity course without withdrawal grade

Tuesday, 1/27

Last day to drop full semester course without withdrawal grade

Tuesday, 2/3

Degree applications due in Registrar's office for May 2015

Friday, 2/6

President's Day - No Classes

Monday, 2/16

Last day to withdraw from 1st half activity courses

Tuesday, 2/24

Mid-semester grades due from faculty

Week of 3/9

First half activity courses end

Tuesday, 3/10

Second half activity courses start

Wednesday, 3/11

Last day to add second half activity courses

Thursday, 3/12

Spring Break


Classes Resume

Monday, 3/23

Last day to drop second half activity courses without a withdrawal grade

Tuesday, 3/24

Fall/Summer Semester Early Registration period

Begins Monday, 4/6

Last day to withdraw from Spring full semester courses

Friday, 4/17

Last day to withdraw from second half activity courses

Tuesday, 4/21

Classes End

Tuesday, 5/5

Reading Days

Wednesday, 5/6


5/7, 5/8, 5/11, 5/12

Final date for submission of Spring grades from faculty for graduating students

Thursday, 5/14

Final date for submission of Spring grades from faculty for all students

Monday, 5/18


Saturday, 5/16

Graduate Commencement

Saturday, 5/16

Undergraduate Commencement

Sunday, 5/17

Math, Physics, & Computer Science Departmental Newsletter

Page 2


Dr. Eileen McGowan, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, has been extremely active
since having joined the Department. Dr. McGowan has introduced a new course entitled,
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which will add a very interesting option for students. This course includes the three components of GIS: data, analysis, and communication. Topics covered include data sources, data collection, data analysis techniques, and
communication through cartography. The course balances theoretical and applied material, enabling students to apply knowledge of GIS in the solution of real-world problems. The Department looks forward
to offering this course during the academic year 2015-2016.
Dr. Andrew Perry, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, will be teaching, Sports Analytics Seminar,
for students who are working toward completion of the Sports Analytics Minor. The minor applies mathematical
modeling, statistics and computational algorithms to analyze sports data, looking at correlations with the performance of athletes engaged in a variety of sports. Anyone interested in sports analytics should contact Dr. Perry.
Dr. Tyler Markkanen, Assistant of Mathematics, will be spearheading a Puzzle Day during the month of April
vacation for public school students who will be invited to one or more sessions. Several members in the Department will contribute various activities that focus on Computer Science and Mathematics Magic!
On behalf of all of us MPCSers (members of the Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science Department), let me
dare to wish you a happy spring! It has certainly been a winter to remember, or should I say forget! Happy
Peter Polito

Page 3
by Donna Wisniowski

volume 9, Issue 3

Robert Martin
Major: Computer Science
Concentrations: Information Systems & Software
Minor: Business Management
Where are you from? Robert is from Springfield, MA. He is a graduate of Central High School.
He has two brothers, one older (34) and one younger (17) who is currently a student at his alma mater. Roberts favorite class in high school was band. He played saxophone with the jazz band.
Why did you come to SC? Robert was in the Computer Information Technology program at Springfield Technical Community College
and received his Associates Degree . His Professor and Chair of the Computer Technology Department, Brian Candido, made Robert
aware of the Articulation Agreement between STCC and SC with which he was able to get his Associates from STCC and transfer to
SC as a Junior with all his credits being accepted and applied towards his Bachelors Degree. Sometimes called a 2 + 2 Degree Two
years at a Community College and two years at SC for a Bachelors Degree is a really good deal for the student! This Agreement has
opened up the door of opportunity to Robert and to those who might not have had the opportunity to further their education with a
Bachelors degree in Computer Science .
Why do you like Computer Science? Robert says he enjoys his major because it is interesting and is fluid and constantly changing;
he doesnt get bored. He never wants to do the same thing every day.
What was your favorite class at SC? Roberts favorite class was Computer Systems Seminar taught by Professor Dini. He says
that the course took his previous experiences in programming and database and combined them. Professor Dini showed how their
experience would be relevant to real world practice in the job place.
What life lessons has SC taught you? Robert feels that he has learned wonderful communication skills during his time at SC, and
how to ask the right questions.
What was your favorite SC Happening so far? Robert really enjoyed Sti-Yu-Ka week when the bounce house was on the campus
green. He went in multiple times in his suit (because he was going to go work from campus) and had a great time bouncing around!
Senior Year Internship Robert has an Internship with Farm Credit Financial Partners in Agawam, MA that he enjoys immensely! He
is presently a web manager managing the servers and building applications. He loves that every day is a NEW day! The people that he
works with are friendly and willing to go above and beyond to help each other. It is a very motivational environment which makes
going to work invigorating and enjoyable! Because of his strong work ethic, and marketable computer skills, Farm Credit Financial
Partners has hired Robert as a full-time employee! FPI will also give Robert the opportunity to further his education by paying for
him to go back to school to get his Masters Degree.
Professors Testimonials
Brian Candido, Chair Computer Technology Department, STCC When Robbie was working on his Associates degree at STCC I clearly saw the natural talent he had in programming and his desire to
work in the technology field. When it came time to discuss transfer options it was quite obvious that Springfield College was the
best choice for him. In addition to the STCC and SC articulation agreement the synergies between the two institutions of higher
education made the transition seamless and a natural continuation for Robbie.
Nina Dini, Professor of Computer Science, MPCS Dept. Robert Martin has been my advisee since he transferred to SC from STCC. It has been a privilege to know him and to serve as his
advisor and teacher in the Systems Seminar course which was offered in Spring 2014. His academic work and performance in this
course were of excellent quality. He is a bright, motivated and responsible student. I rank enthusiasm, motivation and perseverance
in his field of study as his top qualities. He exhibits courtesy and respect in his personal interactions with his professors. he is also a
collaborator and a team player.
Robert possesses all the qualifications that are required for success in the workplace. I am certain that wherever he is offered
employment he will be regarded as a great asset to the organization. Good luck Robert and all the best!
Robert has certainly proven to all of us in the Department, that with strong work ethic, the willingness to learn, and a desire to be
the best you can be, you can achieve your dreams! We all know that Roberts future will be a bright one! Congratulations Robert!!!

Einsteins Quote of the Month

The most incomprehensible thing
about the world is that it is

Famous Mathematicians

Arthur Cayley
(1821-1895) England

Cayley was one of the most prolific

mathematicians in history; a list of the
branches of mathematics he pioneered
Puzzles That Make You Go Hmmmmmm
will seem like an exaggeration. In addition to being very inventive, he was an excellent alContributed by Dr. Tyler Markkanen
gorist; some considered him to be the greatest
Puzzle #1: Connect all nine dots by drawing four straight mathematician of the late 19th century (an era that
includes Weierstrass and Poincar). Cayley was the
lines, without lifting the pen.
essential founder of modern group theory, matrix
algebra, the theory of higher singularities, and higher-dimensional geometry (building on Plcker's work
and anticipating the ideas of Klein), as well as the
theory of invariants. Among his many important theorems are the Cayley-Hamilton Theorem, and Cayley's Theorem itself (that any group is isomorphic to
a subgroup of a symmetric group). He extended
Puzzle #2: Solve the following cryptarithm, where each
Hamilton's quaternions and developed the octonions,
letter represents a digit and no digit represents two difbut was still one of the first to realize that these
ferent letters.
special algebras should be subsumed by general matrix methods. He also did original research in combinatorics (e.g. enumeration of trees), elliptic and
Abelian functions, and projective geometry. One of
his famous geometric theorems is a generalization
of Pascal's Mystic Hexagram result; another resulted in an elegant proof of the Quadratic Reciprocity

Scholars in Action

2015 Scholars in Action will take

place on Tuesday, April 14,
9:00 a.m.3:00 p.m.
Scholars in Action is designed to
showcase undergraduate scholarship at Springfield College. The
event is an opportunity for juniors
and seniors to share their research, scholarship, and creative
activities with the College community.
If you are interested in participating in this event,
please contact:
Cindy Herlihy or Mary Ann Coughlin in Academic
Affairs at 748-3197 OR

Cayley may have been the least eccentric of the

great mathematicians: In addition to his life-long
love of mathematics, he enjoyed hiking, painting,
reading fiction, and had a happy married life. He
easily won Smith's Prize and Senior Wrangler at
Cambridge, but then worked as a lawyer for many
years. He later became professor, and finished his
career in the limelight as President of the British
Association for the Advancement of Science. He and
James Joseph Sylvester were a source of inspiration to each other. These two, along with Charles
Hermite, are considered the founders of the important theory of invariants. Though applied first to
algebra, the notion of invariants is useful in many
areas of mathematics.
Cayley once wrote: "As for everything else, so for a mathematical theory: beauty can be perceived but not explained."