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Robert A. Cohen

Robert A. Cohen

Professor of Mathematics


Ph.D., University of Colorado Boulder, Mathematics, 2004
B.A., Humboldt State University, Mathematics, 1996


How did you discover Western?

When I was a graduate student in Boulder, I had a friend who lived in Crested Butte. I used to drive up when there was free skiing at the end of the season, and I remember passing by Western and thinking, “I wonder if they’ll be hiring when I finish my degree?” Thankfully, they were.

What are some of the highlights of your career?

When I was in graduate school, I got to ski with a Fields Medalist, which is roughly equivalent to skiing with a Nobel Prize winner. In between runs, we discussed our research on the chairlifts, which was an incredible experience.

Also, I received an NSF grant to do research for a year with Western students. The students got paid well for their work and proudly represented Western with impressive presentations at a national conference at BYU.

Finally, I am thrilled to have been nominated for both regional and national teaching awards by my colleagues at Western.

What most excites you about your field?

There is so much to learn about mathematics. I could spend several lifetimes studying the subject and still not learn it all.

Since I have been at Western, I have learned about many areas of mathematics that were new to me. This learning continues, and it is great fun to take on new, exciting topics with my students. For example, a few years ago I learned how to design fractal images, and had so much fun creating them that I felt obliged to share my excitement. Since that time I have taught the technique to many folks, including middle-school math campers, Western Honors students and Western Math students.

I am excited to see where my mathematical journeys will take me next and to share the experiences with others.

What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?

Like many, I enjoy the endless recreation opportunities this valley has to offer. Every season provides recreational offerings that give you a chance to experience the mountains in a variety of ways. Also, there is a wonderfully supportive community in this valley, and it is a great place to raise kids.

Office Hours

Monday and Wednesday: 2-3 p.m.; Thursday: 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and 3:15-4 p.m.

Professional Interests

Functional Analysis, Operator Algebras, Classical Analysis

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