Bill Hackborn, Ph D, M Sc, B Math
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
- AUCSC 110 Introduction to Computing Science (Fall 2003)
- AUCSC 120 Abstraction, Design and Object-Oriented Programming (Winter 2009)
- AUCSC 210 Algorithm Analysis and Data Structures (Fall 2012)
- AUCSC 315 Theory of Computing (Winter 2013, cross listed with AUMAT 355)
- AUCSC 340 Numerical Methods (Fall 2003, cross-listed with AUMAT 340 & AUPHY 340)
- AUCSC 330 Database Management Systems I (Winter 2018)
- AUCSC 430 Database Management Systems II (Fall 2004)
- AUIDS 211 Interdisciplinary Science Projects (Winter 2019)
- AUMAT 110 Elementary Calculus I (Fall 2018)
- AUMAT 116 Elementary Calculus I, Enriched (Fall 2015)
- AUMAT 112 Elementary Calculus II (Winter 2018)
- AUMAT 212 Intermediate Calculus II (Winter 2016)
- AUMAT 229 Introduction to Group Theory (Winter 2015)
- AUMAT 260 Topics in Geometry (Fall 2007)
- AUMAT 315 Complex Variables (Winter 2019)
- AUMAT 332 Mathematical Ecology and Dynamical Systems (Fall 2014)
- AUMAT 480 History of Mathematics and Physics (Fall 2015)
Vector and matrix algebra, determinants, linear systems of equations, vector spaces, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, applications. Prerequisite: Mathematics 30-1.
Integrated history of mathematics and physics, emphasizing the scientific revolution and the subsequent development of mathematics and physics as distinct disciplines. Prerequisite: AUMAT 211 and one of AUMAT 220, 229, 250. Note: Credit may be obtained for only one of AUMAT 480 or AUPHY 480.
Integrated history of mathematics and physics, emphasizing the scientific revolution and the subsequent development of mathematics and physics as distinct disciplines. Prerequisite: AUMAT 211 and one of AUPHY 250, 260, or AUCHE 277. Note: Credit may be obtained for only one of AUPHY 480 or AUMAT 480.
Research - Alberta Mathematics Dialogue (AMD) 2019
20190502 to 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):
- Melania Alvarez, UBC, Mathematics Education & Indigenous Outreach
- Greg Forest, U North Carolina, Mathematical Biology & Big Data
- Thomas Hillen, U Alberta, Public Lecture (on Math & Music)
- Vakhtang Putkaradze, U Alberta, Theoretical Mechanics (applied to figure skating)
- Jonathan Schaeffer, U Alberta, Banquet Speaker (on artificial intelligence)
- John Stockie, Simon Fraser University, Industrial Mathematics
- Steph van Willigenburg, UBC, Algebraic Combinatorics
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:
- Algebraic Combinatorics
- Big Data (and other areas of Comp Sci, where mathematics plays a big role)
- Industrial and Applied Mathematics
- Mathematical Biology
- Mathematics Education, Pedagogy & Outreach
- Number Theory
- Statistics (both pedagogy & research)
- K-12 Math Curriculum (and how it relates to post-secondary education)
- Undergraduate Research
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.
William W. Hackborn
Research in History and Philosophy of Mathematics. Proceedings of the Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Mathematics.. 4 (2017 Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Mathematics):43-57
William W. Hackborn
American Journal of Physics. 84 (2):127-134
Edmund J. Crampin, William W. Hackborn, Philip Maini
Bulletin of Mathematical Biology. 64 (4):747-769
William W. Hackborn
The American Mathematical Monthly. 115 (9):813-819
William W. Hackborn
Proceedings of the Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Mathematics. 19