Mathematics Department

Faculty Emeriti & In Memoriam

Faculty Emeriti

  • Julius Barbanel
    Julius Barbanel

    Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus
    Ph.D., SUNY at Buffalo, 1979
    logic, set theory, fair division

    I began my research career in set theory. In particular, my interests were in large cardinal theory, which is the study of very large infinite sets. After about fifteen years in this field, I moved into game theory, focusing specifically on fair division. This involves the allocation of goods among a collection of players, where the goals include both fairness and efficiency. I worked on both abstract existence results and on algorithms in this area. After about fifteen years in this field, I became interested in the ancient Greek foundations of modern mathematics. I developed a general education course on this subject, called “Ancient Greek Mathematics”.

  • Susan Niefield
    Susan Niefield

    Professor of Mathematics, Emerita
    Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1978
    exponentiability, double categories, toposes, locales, quantales


    My research involves using category theory, especially adjoint functors, to draw analogies between different areas of mathematics. Much of this work concerns characterizing exponentiable morphisms in non-locally cartesian closed categories (including topological spaces, locales, toposes, posets, and affine schemes), and finding relationships between these characterizations. I am also interested in structures which capture similarities between different mathematical objects, e.g., quantales (which relate the lattice of ideals of a ring to that of the open subsets of a space) and double categories (which relate topological spaces, locales, quantales, toposes, posets, modules, and small categories).

  • Kimmo Rosenthal
    Kimmo Rosenthal

    Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus
    Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo
    category theory, algebra, logic

    I have been teaching mathematics at Union College for over three decades. Prior to 2000 I published two books and 27 articles on various aspects of category theory. From 2000-2008 I served as Dean of Studies at the college, overseeing the curriculum and the academic lives of the entire student body. After resigning as Dean, I returned to the mathematics classroom with a renewed vigor and enthusiasm. From 2008-2020 I regularly taught the First-Year Preceptorial, a required seminar on critical reading and writing. At the same time my attention turned from mathematical research to writing. I have 20 publications (stories, poems, essays) in various literary journals.

  • Karl Zimmermann
    Karl Zimmermann

    Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus
    Ph.D., Brown University, 1986
    number theory, formal groups

    Most of my research is in the area of arithmetic geometry and in particular, formal groups, but more recently, I’ve become interested in a problem related to both formal groups and local (p-adic) dynamical systems. While thinking about a conjecture of Lubin involving power series that commute under composition, I started working with commuting polynomials that have coefficients in the complex numbers. A complete classification of these polynomials was given around 1920 by Ritt and Julia, working independently. That result is easily stated, but the proof is topological and fairly deep. My current work involves looking at commuting polynomials from an algebraic point of view and trying to apply formal group theoretic techniques, when possible, to gain a better understanding of the problem.

Other Faculty Emeriti

  • William Fairchild, Professor Emeritus
  • Arnold Seiken, Professor Emeritus

In Memoriam

  • Theodore A. Bick, Professor Emeritus
  • Lois Bing, Departmental Administrative Assistant
  • Linda Jorgensen, Departmental Administrative Assistant
  • Edwin Gillette, Professor Emeritus