Brief Biographies of the Authors of Mathematical Expeditions

Reinhard Laubenbacher received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1985, with a thesis in algebraic K-theory, after which he joined the faculty at New Mexico State University. Since then he has held visiting positions at Cornell University, the University of Trieste, Italy, and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley.  Since 2002 he is a professor of mathematics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Research Professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. He has also been involved in several secondary education projects, most importantly the use of cryptography as a unifying teaching tool in the high school and middle school curriculum. Aside from his work in the history of mathematics and mathematics education, he and his Ph.D. students pursue research in computational algebra and the analysis of information systems.  In his spare time he hikes and motorcycles around the Southwest, and jumps out of airplanes.

David Pengelley does  mathematical research in homotopy theory, a part of algebraic topology. In addition to his collaborations on using original historical sources in teaching, and research in history of mathematics, he was one of the creators of a department-wide teaching program utilizing student projects to promote cooperative self-learning in calculus classes, yielding the book Student Research Projects in Calculus (Mathematical Association of America, 1992). He received the 1993 Award for Distinguished Teaching from the Southwestern Section of the Mathematical Association of America, loves backpacking, is active on environmental issues, and has become a fanatical badminton player. He has his own web pages under development.

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Teaching with Original Historical Sources in Mathematics