Education

  • PhD, University of Oklahoma (2019)
  • MA, University of Oklahoma (2014)
  • BA (Math/Computer Science), Bethel College (2011)
  • Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (Fall 2010)

Courses Taught

  • Discrete structures
  • Intro to proofs
  • Topology
  • Real analysis
  • Calculus I & II
  • Linear algebra
  • Preparation for industrial careers in mathematics
  • Intro to artificial intelligence

Research Interests

  • Topics in geometric and combinatorial group theory  including:
    • One-relator groups and generalizations
    • Orderable groups
    • Nonpositive and negative curvature conditions for groups
    • Computability questions for finitely presented groups
  • Though I am not an expert in them, I am interested in the following topics as well:
    • Ranking systems and alignment classifiers for games of social deduction
    • The mathematics and computer science of video game speedrunning, especially that which pertains to finding and exploiting glitches
    • Creative approaches for improving mathematics pedagogy using technology
    • Creative approaches for making classrooms and departmental spaces more inclusive
    • Addressing algorithmic racial (and other) bias and oppression

Ben Stucky

Co-Chair and Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science

 Pronouns: he/him/his  Email: stuckybw@beloit.edu  Phone: 608-363-2193  Schedule an Appointment  Office: Room 218, Sanger Center for the Sciences

Hi there! My favorite part of teaching at Beloit is the close relationships I have with my students. I believe that everyone deserves to experience the joys of math and computer science, and I like to start my courses with discussions of Dr. Federico Ardila’s axioms. Students from marginalized groups (women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ individuals, folks with disabilities, and more) have been and continue to be excluded from these subjects and STEM in general. Let’s work to tip the scales together!

I love to teach all kinds of courses. In intro-level courses like calculus, I get to meet students from many different majors, and I love to learn from them and help them see how mathematics can serve their interests in other disciplines. In more advanced courses like topology, I get to help students deepen their creative problem-solving abilities and logical reasoning, skills which serve them well regardless of their career goals.

In my research, I am most interested in topics blending math and computer science. My favorite projects and problems belong to the subfields of geometric and combinatorial group theory. A group is an abstract mathematical object that can be defined by a set of equations called relators. There are fundamental questions about some groups that we can prove are impossible to answer (in the same sense as the impossibility of the famous halting problem from computer science). I study certain types of more well-behaved groups and develop algorithms which demonstrate properties about them that may be known in theory, but not in practice. I also have many “casual” research interests beyond group theory. A piece of trivia about me is that I didn’t take a physics class in college and wish that I had. If I went back to school for another degree, I think I would study quantum mechanics and/or quantum computing.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and volunteering in my community. I like skateboarding and listening to and making music. I love puzzles and games with few and simple rules from which complex logic and deep strategy emerge. My favorites include Baba is You, Hanabi, Poker, Mafia, and of course the Game of Life (rules here).

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