Marie Snipes joined the Kenyon math department in 2009. Her research interests lie in the field of geometric measure theory, an area of math that uses measure theory to analyze geometric properties of sets and has its origins in the study of soap films. Prior to her doctoral studies at the University of Michigan, Marie spent four years in the Air Force conducting statistical analyses and developing mathematical models of personnel data. This applied math experience complements her academic perspective as a mathematics instructor.

Outside the classroom, Marie studies applied topology through a hands-on study of continuous deformations of phyllosilicate minerals (in other words, throwing pottery). She also enjoys playing racquetball, Scrabble and chess.


2009 — Doctor of Philosophy from University of Michigan

2005 — Master of Science from University of Michigan

1999 — Bachelor of Science from Harvey Mudd College

Courses Recently Taught

The second in a three-semester calculus sequence, this course has two primary foci. The first is integration, including Riemann sums, techniques of integration, and numerical methods and applications of integration. This study leads into the analysis of differential equations by separation of variables, Euler's method and slope fields. The second focus is the notion of convergence, as manifested in improper integrals, and sequences and series, particularly Taylor series. This counts toward the core course requirement for the major. Prerequisite: MATH 111 or AP score of 4 or 5 on Calculus AB exam or an AB sub-score of 4 or 5 on the Calculus BC exam. Offered every semester.

This course introduces students to mathematical reasoning and rigor in the context of set-theoretic questions. The course covers basic logic and set theory, relations — including orderings, functions and equivalence relations — and the fundamental aspects of cardinality. The course emphasizes helping students read, write and understand mathematical reasoning. Students are actively engaged in creative work in mathematics. Students interested in majoring in mathematics should take this course no later than the spring semester of their sophomore year. Advanced first-year students interested in mathematics are encouraged to consider taking this course in their first year. This counts toward the core course requirement for the major. This course cannot be taken pass/D/fail. Prerequisite: MATH 213. Offered every semester.

This course focuses on the study of vector spaces and linear functions between vector spaces. Ideas from linear algebra are useful in many areas of higher-level mathematics. Moreover, linear algebra has many applications to both the natural and social sciences, with examples arising in fields such as computer science, physics, chemistry, biology and economics. In this course, we use a computer software system, such as Maple or Matlab, to investigate important concepts and applications. Topics to be covered include methods for solving linear systems of equations, subspaces, matrices, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, linear transformations, orthogonality and diagonalization. Applications are included throughout the course. This counts toward the core course requirement for the major. Prerequisite: MATH 213. Generally offered three out of four semesters.

This is a second course focusing on the use of linear algebra to solve large-scale data and image problems. Applications may include, but are not limited to, tomography to reconstruct a 3-D image of a brain, regression to model climate data, prediction of long-term behavior of populations, fractal generation, image-blurring and edge detection, algorithmic approaches to suggest movies to users, linear classifiers to identify cancer risk, and linear optimization for resource allocation. Linear algebra concepts and tools are developed as needed to address the presented problems. In addition to extensions of topics from the first linear algebra course, this course includes a selection of topics from the following list: abstract vector spaces, orthogonal subspaces and projection operators, norms and inner products, Markov matrices, matrix decompositions (LU, Cholesky, Schur, SVD), and support vector machines. Solutions to or simulations of the applied problems presented are implemented in Matlab or similar software. This course counts toward the algebraic focus (column A) elective for the major. Prerequisite: Math 224.

This course is a first introduction to real analysis. "Real" refers to the real numbers. Much of our work revolves around the real number system. We start by carefully considering the axioms that describe it. "Analysis" is the branch of mathematics that deals with limiting processes. Thus the concept of distance is also a major theme of the course. In the context of a general metric space (a space in which we can measure distances), we consider open and closed sets, limits of sequences, limits of functions, continuity, completeness, compactness and connectedness. Other topics may be included if time permits. Junior standing is recommended. This counts toward the continuous/analytic (column B) elective requirement for the major. Prerequisite: MATH 213 and 222. Offered every other fall.

Topology is an area of mathematics concerned with properties of geometric objects that remain the same when the objects are "continuously deformed." Three of these key properties in topology are compactness, connectedness and continuity; the mathematics associated with these concepts is the focus of the course. Compactness is a general idea helping us to more fully understand the concept of limit, whether of numbers, functions or even geometric objects. For example, the fact that a closed interval (or square, or cube, or n-dimensional ball) is compact is required for basic theorems of calculus. Connectedness is a concept generalizing the intuitive idea that an object is in one piece: The most famous of all the fractals, the Mandelbrot Set, is connected, even though its best computer-graphics representation might make this seem doubtful. Continuous functions are studied in calculus, and the general concept can be thought of as a way by which functions permit us to compare properties of different spaces or as a way of modifying one space so that it has the shape or properties of another. Engineering, chemistry and physics are among the subjects that find topology useful. The course touches on selected topics that are used in applications. This counts toward the continuous/analytic (column B) elective requirement for the major. Prerequisite: MATH 222 or permission of instructor. Generally offered every two to three years.

This course follows MATH 341. Topics include a study differentiation and (Riemann) integration of functions of one variable, sequences and series of functions, power series and their properties, iteration and fixed points. Other topics may be included as time permits. For example: a discussion of Newton's method or other numerical techniques; differentiation and integration of functions of several variables; spaces of continuous functions; the implicit function theorem; and everywhere continuous, nowhere differentiable functions. This counts toward the continuous/analytic (column B) elective requirement for the major. Prerequisite: MATH 341. Offered every other spring.

Individual study is a privilege reserved for students who want to pursue a course of reading or complete a research project on a topic not regularly offered in the curriculum. It is intended to supplement, not take the place of, coursework. Individual study cannot be used to fulfill requirements for the major. To qualify, a student must identify a member of the mathematics department willing to direct the project. The professor, in consultation with the student, creates a tentative syllabus (including a list of readings and/or problems, goals and tasks) and describes in some detail the methods of assessment (e.g., problem sets to be submitted for evaluation biweekly; a 20-page research paper submitted at the course's end, with rough drafts due at given intervals; and so on). The department expects the student to meet regularly with his or her instructor for at least one hour per week. All standard enrollment/registration deadlines for regular college courses apply. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of the proposed individual study by the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval. Individual study courses may be counted as electives in the mathematics major, subject to consultation with and approval by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Permission of instructor and department chair required. No prerequisite.\n\n

This course consists largely of an independent project in which students read several sources to learn about a mathematical topic that complements material studied in other courses, usually an already completed depth sequence. This study culminates in an expository paper and a public or semi-public presentation before an audience consisting of at least several members of the mathematics faculty as well as an outside examiner. Permission of department chair required. Prerequisite: senior standing and the completion of at least one two-semester sequence at the junior-senior level.

This is a basic course in statistics. The topics covered are the nature of statistical reasoning, graphical and descriptive statistical methods, design of experiments, sampling methods, probability, probability distributions, sampling distributions, estimation and statistical inference. Confidence intervals and hypothesis tests for means and proportions are studied in the one- and two-sample settings. The course concludes with inference-regarding correlation, linear regression, chi-square tests for two-way tables and one-way ANOVA. Statistical software is used throughout the course, and students engage in a wide variety of hands-on projects. This counts toward the core course requirement for the major. Students with credit for STAT 116 cannot take STAT 106 for credit. No prerequisite. Offered every semester.