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If you have heard about us it might possibly be because of one of these:
Carbondale is the birthplace of the MCCCC = Midwest Conference on Combinatorics Cryptography, and Computing.
It was started in 1986 by the efforts of Walter Wallis, and, after a few meetings at SIUC, now moves around the Midwest at various institutions. This year is its 24-th meeting. Currently, Walter is developing a webpage devoted to his book on Designs.
You might have encountered in the bookstore or on library shelves one of over 40 books that were written or edited by members of our department.
The latest is coauthored by Joseph Hundley and concerns the theory of automorphic representations.
David Kammler's book on Fourier Analysis is one of the finest on the subject. It has been adopted by several universities as the course texbook (including Stanford and Maryland).
Alan Schoen discovered a minimal surface that he named the gyroid. The gyroid is becoming increasingly popular as more and more new occurrences of it in nature are being discovered (google it up!). It has been discussed at Cornell University and John Baez's site at Univ. of California-Riverside and on wired.com's wired science blog. You may purchase a sculpture of it from Bathsheba. Currently Alan is developing an amazing site Geometry Garret. We hope that some day a big gyroidal sculpture will embellish our Math. Department backyard.
Our colleagues from other departments often ask us: What is mathematics about and what do mathematicians do?
We stay busy, both with teaching (this is our immediate duty to society) and with research (this is our responsibility to the future of humankind --- we work in quite a few research areas).