"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
Britt Anderson encourages current Knox students to take classes in constitutional law, LSAT preparation, and to be ready to focus only on the study of law.
Scholar John Agnew aims to debunk myths and promote a better understanding of the dimensions of immigration in the United States and elsewhere.
A double-major in English literature and gender and women's studies, she walks in the footsteps of James Joyce and other writers, gaining a better understanding of them and their work.