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Brennan Professor of Mathematics 2012-2013

Paolo Aluffi, Marion Brennan Professor of Mathematics 2012-2014

A generous gift from Ms. M. Carol Brennan has been used to endow a named professorship in mathematics in honor of Carol's mother, Marion Bradley Brennan. The Marion Bradley Brennan Professorship in Mathematics shall be used to "support an internationally known scholar in the field of mathematics, with a proven track record in research, teaching and especially mentoring undergraduates and graduate students."

"[Dr Aluffi] is patient and caring with his students. His knowledge of his field is great, and his advice is invaluable."

Carol is an accomplished alumna who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1976 and a Master of Science degree in 1978, both in Applied Mathematics. She began her professional career as a software engineer with Bell Laboratories and later joined Telcordia Technologies, where she eventually rose to the level of Corporate Vice President of Quality Operations. After retiring from Telcordia, in 2003, Carol began a consulting career that continues to this day. Carol currently serves on the College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Council. She cites the support and mentorship she received from the FSU math faculty as her reason for endowing this chair, and hopes her contribution will ensure future students the same kind of experience she had. After an extensive selection process, the first holder of the Marion Bradley Brennan Professorship in Mathematics has been chosen. The committee has combed through a list filled with many deserving candidates and chosen Professor Paolo Aluffi, who has served as a faculty member since 1991. Aluffi was chosen on the merits of his work as both a teacher and a researcher, and comes highly recommended by his colleagues and students. .

Students' Point of View
Faculty and students gather for the reception preceeding Dr Aluffi's Inaugural Brennan Lecture

"Dr. Aluffi is a great advisor. As a mentor he is without peer. He is patient and caring with his students. His knowledge of his field is great, and his advice is valuable... As a teacher, he is also amazing. His polished presentation style shows that he makes his class presentations a high priority. He has a way of making almost any topic interesting."

"The classes I have taken with him were all impeccably organized and conducted. Always interesting and challenging, his lectures were suitable for both beginning and advanced students. Algebraic Geometry is a really tough subject to teach and he just knew how to do it!"

Other Nominated Faculty

The quality of the other nominees for the Brennan Professorship is a testament not only to Aluffi's outstanding work, but to the excellence to be found throughout the FSU math faculty.

"David Kopriva is an example of someone that I can concretely say has positively impacted me. My experience at FSU was made more rich be- cause of him. In fact, his impact now goes beyond me, as my students are now benefiting from the training and mentoring that Dave provided during my undergrad years there. Hard to believe that in two years (i.e. my junior and senior years), such a person could have such an impact."

"Dr. Mio gave detailed comments on almost every aspect of my work including my research, publication, presentation and even Curriculum Vitae and essays for my job applications. His comments range from general directions on my dissertation to as small as grammar and spell check... On the other hand, Dr. Mio opens his heart to students and is willing to listen to students' voices. This is very helpful since it improves my capability of thinking independently, which is crucial for a good re- searcher. Last but not least, Dr.Mio cares about students' personal lives, which provides a harmonious atmosphere for our interaction." .

"Dr. Cogan also shared his research with me and even took the time to do not only one but two DISs with me as an undergraduate. It is the work I attempted with him that actually changed my mind to go into graduate school for Mathematics (instead of medical school). I also know I am not the only one he has opened up his time to--I know of at least two other people who have also changed their future "plans" be- cause he gave them the chance to see something new and interesting to focus their goals. His passion for his research inspires anyone who works with him."

"Dr. Bertram not only patiently helped me choose suitable course loads but was willing to take the time to share his research interests with me when I was only and undergraduate student. In addition, more than once, he has taken on undergraduate students to contribute to his work in addition to his group of graduate students. He is always happily avail- able and willing to help a student."

Amod Agashe
Richard Bertram
Nick Cogan
Craig Nolder
Alec Kercheval
David Kopriva
Mark van Hoeij
Washington Mio
Mike Mesterton-Gibbons