SUNY Potsdam

Math. Dept.

SUNY Potsdam

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Teaching Philosophy

Current Research

Grants Recieved

Kazem Mahdavi, Ph.D.

Professor of Mathematics
Math. Dept. SUNY Potsdam, Potsdam, NY 13676
Tel: 315 267 2095
Fax: 315 267 3176


I am a full Professor of Mathematics at the State University College of New York at Potsdam where I have taught since September of 1983. I also served as a visiting Professor of Mathematics at Cornell University for the 1996-97 academic year and spent a semester (Spring 1990) at Carleton University, Ottawa. I have also taught graduate level courses in Algebra and Topology at Clarkson University. I have written Ph.D. Algebra qualification examinations for Clarkson University Ph.D. students. I was a project engineer at the French Iranian Engineering Design Company (1975-1978).

I was awarded my Ph.D. in Mathematics (Group Theory) from the State University of New York at Binghamton in September of 1983, an M.A. in Mathematics (with a minor in Statistics) from SUNY Binghamton in May of 1980, and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tehran University in Iran in March of 1975. I am a member of the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, and Phi Kappe Phi chapter president for academic year 2001-2002.

I have received three grants from NSF (joint with David Powers and Christino Tamon from Clarkson University), two from NSA, and one from the Office of Educational Opportunities to create and direct the Clarkson &endash; Potsdam Institute for Undergraduate Research Experience (CPIURE). CPIURE is a summer research program of SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University for undergraduates and high school teachers. I am the Director of this program. Our summer program has been very successful: up to now we have had three prizes and five papers submitted or published, jointly with undergraduates.

I have a very diverse research interest and am well-read in many areas of pure and applied mathematics and mathematical physics. I have publications in refereed journals in the areas of Group Theory and Abelian Group Theory. My joint paper with Klaus Denecke in the area of Universal Algebra (logic) has been recently published in Discussiones Mathematicae. I have recently submitted my joint paper on Automatic Group Theory to International Journal of Algebra and Computation. I have also been acknowledged for contributions to the newly published book, Conceptual Mathematics, by W. Lawvere, and S. Schanuel, Cambridge Univ. Press. And I have been acknowledged for my contribution to the important paper "Central Quotients of Biautomatic Groups," by Lee Mosher, Comm. Math. Helv. I have two publications on mathematics education, too.

My current area of research is Automatic Group Theory and researching whether Richard Thompson's Groups are automatic or not. I am also working on the problem of which subgroup of an automatic group is automatic.

I am also in the process of writing a book on mathematical physics jointly with I. Schensted and E. Ryan. I have reviewed books for publishing companies, as well.

I have presented seven mathematics colloquiums and seventeen invited talks (mathematical/mathematics education) at the national and international level. I was also a visiting lecturer of the Mathematical Association of America for three years. I regularly attend meetings and conferences on mathematics, mathematics education, and the use of technology in the classroom.

I am a recipient of seven merit awards from SUNY Potsdam and am a recipient of the President's Award for Excellence in Research (SUNY Potsdam).

To assist the SUNY Potsdam mathematics BA/MA program, I created two honors courses at SUNY Potsdam: Multivariate Calculus, and Linear Algebra.

I have taught courses at all levels (graduate and undergraduate) including Abstract Algebra, Topology, Linear Algebra, Advanced Calculus, Number Theory, Set Theory and Logic, Concepts of Geometry, Mathematical Statistics, Probability and Statistics, Multivariate Calculus (regular and honors section), Calculus I & II, Pre Calculus, and Elements of Mathematics. As a teacher, I try very hard to create the best possible atmosphere for my students to enjoy learning and doing mathematics. I challenge each student according to his/her ability. I always try to engage our talented/gifted students in my research and scholarly activities.

I have conducted independent studies and directed seminars (above my normal teaching load) at the Master's level at SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University in many different areas of mathematics. These include Representation Theory, Lie Algebra, Category Theory, Number Theory, P-adic Number Theory, Coding Theory, Automatic Group Theory, Differential Geometry, Universal Algebra, Relativity Theory, Operator Theory, Word Problems for Groups, Hyperbolic Geometry, Lambda Calculus, Symplectic Topology and Proof Theory.

I recently served as Mathematics Education Delegate to China (sponsored by the People to People Ambassador Programs). I have also been elected to serve on the Undergraduate Research Council(a national Committee).

I have served on many committees including: Chairman of Graduate Committee, elected member and chair of the Departmental Committee, Hiring Committee, elected member of Chair Hiring Committee, Faculty Assembly, Honors Council, Human Subject Institutional Review Board committee, Chair of many Master Algebra Comprehensive Committees, and Chair and member of many Master Oral Examination Committees.

I have helped SUNY Potsdam with its fund raising efforts. and recently I was also Employee Assistance Coordinator at SUNY Potsdam.

My hobbies are writing and reading fiction, practicing Tai Chi, running, ice skating, and hiking mountains. I donate blood regularly.