Prof. Hackborn's research interests include applied mathematics (especially fluid dynamics), chaos theory (the study of the surprising patterns and apparent randomness present in some basic processes of the natural world), the history of mechanics (part of the history of physics and mathematics), and projectile motion (including ballistics and the somewhat dark roles both mathematics and computing science have played in the birth and development of this black art). Most recently, he has also been doing research on social networks, both in a practical way (via a survey of the connections between U Alberta professors) and, more theoretically, using differential equations to approximate social networks that capture some of the ways in which human communities adopt ideas and build consensus.
Brief Teaching Philosophy
The most important ingredient in learning computing science and mathematics (like music) is practice, practice, practice! So, Prof. Hackborn likes to give students lots of opportunities for practicing their course work both during class and afterwards in a variety of ways, including group activities and individual assignments. He also likes to impress upon his students the utility and beauty of mathematics and computing, and the important roles they have played in the development of the modern world, because students cannot be expected to learn a subject unless and until they see why it is worth learning (and the passion it excites in its disciples).
Courses Taught since Fall 2003
Computer arithmetic and errors, solution of systems of linear equations, root finding, interpolation, numerical quadrature, and numerical solutions of ordinary differential equations. Applications from physics are included. Prerequisites: AUCSC 111, AUMAT 120, AUMAT 112; or consent of the instructor. Note: Credit may be obtained for only one of AUCSC 340, AUMAT 340, AUPHY 340.
Fall Term 2020Complex numbers, functions of a complex variable, analytic functions, Cauchy and related theorems, Taylor and Laurent expansions, the residue calculus and applications, harmonic functions, conformal mapping, applications. Prerequisite: AUMAT 212.
Winter Term 2021Mathematical analysis of problems associated with ecology, including models of population growth (e.g., discrete, continuous, age-structured, limited carrying capacity), the population dynamics of ecosystems, the spread of epidemics, the transport of pollutants, and the sustainable harvesting of vegetation and animal populations. Fundamental concepts of discrete and continuous dynamical systems, both linear and nonlinear. Prerequisites: AUMAT 120 and 211.
Fall Term 2020Computer arithmetic and errors, solution of systems of linear equations, root finding, interpolation, numerical quadrature, and numerical solutions of ordinary differential equations. Applications from physics are included. Prerequisites: AUCSC 111, AUMAT 120, AUMAT 112; or consent of the instructor. Note: Credit may be obtained for only one of AUMAT 340, AUCSC 340, AUPHY 340.
Fall Term 2020Computer arithmetic and errors, solution of systems of linear equations, root finding, interpolation, numerical quadrature, and numerical solutions of ordinary differential equations. Applications from physics are included. Prerequisite: AUCSC 111, AUMAT 120, AUPHY 120 or 250, AUMAT 112. Note: Credit may be obtained for only one of AUPHY 340, AUCSC 340, AUMAT 340.
Fall Term 202020190502 - 20190503
I am the principal organizer of the Alberta Mathematics Dialogue (AMD) 2019, to be held at the Augustana Campus on Thursday-Friday, 2-3 May 2019.
Our talented line-up of invited speakers is well-balanced. All have confirmed their attendance. They are (in alphabetical order):
We're excited about these speakers. They have all won awards of various kinds. Parallel sessions (associated with the areas of our invited speakers and other areas popular at previous AMDs) to be held at AMD 2019 include:
We particularly encourage the participation of post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduates. One of the mandates of AMD has always been to nurture the talents of aspiring mathematicians. Please note the last session topic above: Undergraduate Research.
AMD 2019 will also include a special panel/roundtable on jobs in mathematics. We plan to invite Alberta math/stats graduates who now work in sectors that rely heavily on mathematics (such as computer science, financial analysis, data science, etc.) to address this panel. This is another reason why young mathematicians will want to attend -- academia alone is not big enough to hold all the mathematical talent in Alberta.
The deadline for abstract submission is Friday, 5 April 2019.