Elon University Home

Jeff Clark

Professor of Mathematics
Duke 307C
2320 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
clarkj@elon.edu (336) 278-6248

Brief Biography

I've been teaching mathematics at Elon since 1988, with a year off (1991-1992) for good behavior.

Member:  American Mathematical Society, Mathematical Association of America

Education

B.S. in Mathematics, 1982, Yale University

M.S. in Mathematics, 1985, Yale University

Ph.D. in Mathematics, 1987, Yale University.  Advisor:  William S. Massey.  Dissertation:  Homological Invariants of Knots of Genus Greater Than Two

Employment History

Professor, Elon University, 2004-present

Associate Professor, Elon University, 1996-2004

Assistant Professor, Elon College, 1992-1996

Instructor, Westminster College, 1991-1992

Assistant Professor, Elon College, 1988-1991

Research Analyst, Salomon Brothers, 1987-1988

Courses Taught

Abstract Algebra

Analysis

Applied Calculus

Applied Matrix Theory

Calculus I, II

Differential Equations

Discrete Structures

General Statistics

Linear Algebra

Mathematical Reasoning

Modern Geometry

Multivariable Calculus

Numerical Analysis

Probability Theory and Statistics

Seminar I, II

Special Topics:  Algebraic Topology, Combinatorics, Mathematical Writing, Philosophy of Mathematics

Statistics in Application

The Global Experience

Theory of Computation

Leadership Positions

Department Chair, 1994-2000, 2006-2012

State Director, Southeastern Section of Mathematical Association of America, 1997-2000

Webmaster, Southeastern Section of Mathematical Association of America, 2003-2010

Vice President for Colleges, Central Region, North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 1997-1999

Elon University:  Chair of Curriculum Committee (2008-2011, 2014-), chair of Academic Council (2003-2004), Co-Chair of Presidential Task Force on Alcohol Use (2006-2008), Academic Council ex officio (2010-2011, 2014-)

Research

Supervision of Undergraduate Research

Dia Collins, cryptography, 1998.

Shannon Hill, error-checking codes, 1999.

Joy Blackwell, individual versus societal preferences, calendar year 2000.

Raymond Singletary, the sphere as the unit of two flats, 2000.

Julie Pelter, Newton basins, 2001.

Manda Evans, mathematics of tuning, 2002.

Katie Iwancio, factoring permutation groups, 2002.

Cara McAllister, fair division of resources, 2003.

Josh Rowan, secure coin tossing at a distance, 2003.

Diana Liberto, recursive probabilities, 2004.

David Runkle, modular arithmetic and musical chords, calender year 2005.

Amber Gathje, orbital mechanics, 2005.

Laura Sinden, traffic networks, 2006--2007

Jessica Stewart, fractal geometry and space-filling curves, 2007--2008

J.P. Mullican, geometric constructions, 2008

Rachel Scott, ballistics in different gravity environments, 2008

Anne Chichester, Markov Chain analysis of ``Chutes and Ladders'', 2009

Brenton Davis, the Brachistochrone problem with friction, 2009

Gina Giuricich, construction of Sudoku puzzles, 2010

Andrew Sutherland, drilling a square hole, 2010

Kevin Duke, optimal angles for playing pool, 2011

Eryn Eitel, linear preserver problems, 2011

Josh Goldstein, symmetry operations on chords, 2012

Matt Siggs, mental mathematics, 2012

Rachel Mitchener, cryptography, 2013

Todd Calnan, fractal image compression, 2014

Current Projects

Term rewriting and how it applies to automated theorem-proving

Publications

Using Escher's Work to Demonstrate Symmetries of the Plane, New York State Mathematics Teachers' Journal, Volume 63, Number 2, 2013.

Derivative Sign Patterns.  College Mathematics Journal, Volume 42, Number 5, November 2011.

Business Statistics (with Douglas Downing).  Barron's, Woodbury, New York, 2010 (fifth edition).

E-Z Statistics  (with Douglas Downing).  Barron's, Woodbury, New York, 2009.

Elementary Grobner Basis Theory, Missouri Journal of Mathematics, Volume 16, Number 2, Spring, 2004.

Introductory Statistics TI-83 and TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator
Manual
, with Prem S. Mann.  John Wiley &Sons, 2003.

The graph of cosine is a horizontal line, Centroid, Fall 1997.

Forgotten Statistics, with Douglas Downing.  Barron's, Woodbury, New
York, 1996.

Knowledge worth more than a semester.  Mind Matters, Spring 1994.

An APL implementation of Todd-Coxeter Coset Enumeration. APL Quote
Quad
, pages 7-11, March 1991.

A History of Algebraic and Differential Topology by Jean Dieudonne
(copy-edited).  Birkhauser, Boston, 1989.

Quantitative Methods, with Douglas Downing.  Barron's Business Review
Series, Woodbury, New York, 1988.

Dictionary of Business Terms, contributing author.  Barron's Business
Guides, Woodbury, New York, 1987.

Statistics the Easy Way, with Douglas Downing.  Barron's Educational
Series, Woodbury, New York, 1983.

Presentations

``Honest Multivariable Calculus'', Southeastern Section of the Mathematical
Association of America, Cookeville, TN, March 15, 2014

"Using Counterexamples of Calculus to Teach Real Analysis", Joint Mathematics Meetings, Baltimore, MD, January 15, 2014

"Unit Acceleration Vectors", MathFest, Hartford, CT, August 13, 2013

"Derivative Sign Patterns", Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, Rock Hill, SC, March 15, 2013

"Stressing Physics Content in a Multivariable Calculus Class", Joint Mathematics Meetings, San Diego, CA, January 8, 2013

``Finding a Balance Between Rigor and Exploration in a Non-Euclidean Geometry Course'', Mathfest, Madison, WI, August 3, 2012

"Using PageRank to Teach Markov Chains", Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, Morrow, Ga, March 9, 2012

"Using Escher's Work to Demonstrate Symmetries in the Plane", Joint Mathematics Meetings, Boston, MA, January 4, 2012

"Using Python to Teach Numerical Analysis", International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics, Denver, CO, March 18, 2011

"Mentoring Undergraduate Research for All Mathematics Majors", Joint Mathematics Meetings, New Orleans, January 7, 2011

"Undergraduate Research and Latex", Mathfest, Pittsburgh, PA, August 5, 2010

"Scaling Graphs of Curves", Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, Nashville, TN, March 13, 2009

"Writing in Undergraduate Mathematics", Joint Mathematics Meetings, Washington, DC, January 8, 2009

"Term Rewriting and Simplification", Faculty Research Presentations, Elon University, April 29, 2008

"A Brief Introduction to Term Rewriting", Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, Charleston, SC, March 29, 2008

"Teaching Students LaTeX, International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics, San Antonio, TX, March 7, 2008

"Refactoring and Lattice Theory", Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, Statesboro, GA, March 16, 2007

"Computational Group Theory and Symmetry", Joint Mathematics Meetings, New Orleans, LA, January 5, 2007

"Teaching Mathematics Majors How to Write Mathematics", Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, Auburn, AL, March 31, 2006

"Using Free Software for the Construction of Complex Course Documents", International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics, Orlando, FL, March 17, 2006

"Using History to Make Differential Calculus Come Alive", Joint Mathematics Meetings, San Antonio, TX, January 13, 2006

"Giving Students Their Own Curves", Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America in Raleigh, NC, March 11, 2005

"Using Art to Teach Group Theory", Joint Mathematics Meetings, Atlanta, GA, January 6, 2005

"Describing Mathematical Figures with MetaPost", International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics in New Orleans, LA, October 30, 2004

"Truth and Consequences", Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America in Clarksville, TN, March 26, 2004.

"Using Term Rewriting Systems in Algebra", Joint Mathematics Meetings in Phoenix, AZ, on January 8, 2004.

"An Introduction to Term Rewriting Systems", Elon University's Association for Computing Machinery Student Chapter, November 5, 2003.

"Parsing Permutations", Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America Conference, March 21, 2003.

"Examining Data Collection and Criteria Selection in Introductory Statistics", Joint Mathematics Meetings, January 18, 2003

"Preparing Documents for Print, HTML, and PDF", International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics, November 2, 2002.

"Elementary Grobner Basis Theory", Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, March 9, 2002.

"Elementary Modelling and the Olympics", Joint Mathematics Meetings, January 8, 2002.

"The LINK Graph Software Package: a Status Report", Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, March 31, 2001.

"An Introduction to Demography", North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, March 1, 2001.

"Exploring Finite Topologies", Joint Mathematics Meetings, January 13, 2001.

"An Introduction to Large Permutation Groups", Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, March 11, 2000.

"Mathematical Writing with LaTeX." Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, March 12, 1999

"Filters for Beginners." Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, April 14, 1997

"C++ Classes for Group Programming." Joint Mathematics Meetings, January 8, 1997

"The Use of Graded Journals in Mathematics Classes." Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, April 1, 1995

Commentary for video "Not Knot." Carolinas Mathematics Conference, October 6, 1994

"Minimal Writing Standards in Freshman Mathematics Courses." Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, April 8, 1994

"Elementary Game Theory." Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, April~3, 1993 and to the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference, September 30, 1994

"Use of Ungraded Journals." Workshop held at the Elon College Writing Center, Spring 1989.

Personal Information

I was born and raised in Norristown, PA, where most of my family still lives.

I am married to Laura Clark, a clinical psychologist.

We have two children, David and Elizabeth.

I sing bass.

Skills

Fluent with LaTeX and Python

Used to be skilled in C++ and Perl

Was paid to program in APL and Fortran decades ago

Can wiggle my ears