"My current research centers on the historical development of mathematical ideas in calculus and modern algebra. In calculus, I have been looking at mathematicians who were working immediately prior to the time of Leibnitz and Newton -- the two individuals usually credited with the discovery of calculus -- and studying their techniques for finding tangents and rectifying curves.
In algebra, I have been studying the history of 19th century invariant theory. Invariant theory all but disappeared at the beginning of the 20th century, but was crucial in the development of commutative ring theory and representation history -- two very important branches of modern algebra. Invariant theory has also been resurrected in the modern work of Mumford and Rota."
Years at Knox: 1995 to present
Ph.D., Mathematics, 1994, Rutgers University.
B.A., Mathematics, Philosophy and Latin, 1989, St. Olaf College.
Functions, calculus, differential equations, mathematical statistics, analysis, history of mathematics.
Philip Green Wright-Lombard College Prize for Distinguished Teaching, 2003.
ISMAA Project NExT Fellow, 1998.
"The Classification of Multiplicity Free Representations." Journal of Lie Theory 8 (1998): 367-391.
"The Contest Problem Book V," by George Berzsenyi and Stephen B. Maurer and "Critical Puzzles," by Michael A. DiSpezio.
"Prelude to the Hilbert Basis Theorem." Annual meeting of the Illinois state section of the Mathematical Association of America (ISMAA), Lebanon, Illinois, March 27-28, 1998.
Campus & Community Involvement
Participant, Joint Meeting of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America, Maryland, 1998.
What Students Say
"Professor Leahy is always open and willing to answer questions. No question is 'too stupid' and he can make clear any ambiguous subject. He is concerned with his students and remembers everyone."
-Nahyan Fancy, Mathematics Major
Knox's Team X-Ray places second among 15 liberal arts colleges that competed in an intense regional contest involving programming teams from colleges and universities in five states.
Finals and term projects can be more than tests and papers, as Knox College faculty make engaging assignments and exams -- including design your own superhero -- to evaluate student academic achievements.
A Knox College graduate and vice president of development at the Greater Peoria Business Alliance, Jim Lynch is among the young leaders recognized by InterBusiness Issues magazine.