BA (Mathematics/Computer Science), Bethel College (2011)
Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (Fall 2010)
Much of Ben’s research is in the field of geometric group theory. Broadly, geometric group theorists seek to understand algebraic objects called groups by finding geometric objects which encode their symmetry. One then uses the geometry and topology of those objects to derive algebraic properties of those groups. Ben’s dissertation, Cubulatingone-relator products with torsion, used these techniques to prove a nonpositive curvature property for a specific class of groups which generalize one-relator groups.
Ben’s research with undergraduates combines aspects of mathematics and computer science. For one, there are questions in group theory which are quite amenable to computational approaches, and in fact part of what makes the field so interesting to him is that there are certain basic questions which are known to be undecidable, in general.
Ben is also interested in and has studied various other accessible questions in graph theory, combinatorics, game theory, knot theory, low-dimensional topology, and geometry which are amenable to a computational approach. One problem he has thought a good deal about is the Hadwiger-Nelson problem.
In the future, Ben is interested in learning more about neural networks and combating algorithmic racial biases.
If you are an undergraduate or high school student who is interested in getting involved with math/CS research, but not sure where to start, please feel free to reach out to Ben!
Assistant Professor of Mathematics & Computer Science