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Zachary Treisman

Zachary Treisman

Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Honors Program Director


Ph.D., University of Washington, Mathematics, 2006
M.S., University of Washington, Mathematics, 2003
B.A., Reed College, Mathematics, 1999,


How did you discover Western?

I was looking to teach at a small school in the mountains near Santa Fe, New Mexico where I grew up. I’ve traveled a lot and lived all over the world and nowhere feels like home quite like the desert Southwest.

What are some of the highlights of your career?

My collaborations with mathematical artist Lun-Yi Tsai are always interesting. In the summer of 2018 I took a piece we made to the Bridges conference in Stockholm.

I also worked for a class of more than 600 Native American tribes and tribal organizations, helping their lawyers sort through the mathematical and statistical issues that were involved in settling the case Interior v. Ramah after it was decided in the United States Supreme Court.

As a postdoc, I spent time at the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India, working on some fascinating abstract theoretical mathematics as part of an international community of mathematicians.

What most excited you about your field?

Mathematics is always changing, always building on itself. Questions that were impossibly difficult become solvable with the right shift in perspective. It is the language of science and as such helps give definitive answers to meaningful questions. As our power to compute increases, so does our ability to delve into the hidden patterns in our world.

What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?

The variety of mountain and high desert landscapes that we have here is amazing. In the same day I can go from the alpine peaks of the Elk Mountains, to the forests and wetlands in the river valleys, or to the sage and granite of Hartman Rocks. And the communities that form in this valley are full of interesting, compassionate and adventurous people.

Courses Taught:

  • MATH 105: Mathematics for the Liberal Arts
  • MATH 140: College Algebra
  • MATH 141: Precalculus
  • MATH 151: Calculus I
  • MATH 197: Special Topics (Mathematical Typesetting)
  • MATH 213: Probability and Statistics
  • MATH 220: Introduction to Advanced Mathematics
  • MATH 252: Calculus III
  • MATH 266: Secondary Mathematics from an Advanced Perspective
  • MATH 313: Statistical Modeling and Simulation
  • MATH 330: Topics in Geometry
  • MATH 370: History of Mathematics
  • MATH 390: Introduction to Peer Tutoring in Mathematics
  • MATH 397: Special Topics (Dimension)
  • MATH 451: Analysis I
  • MATH 456: Introduction to Complex Analysis
  • MATH 471: Abstract Algebra I
  • MATH 495: Senior Seminar

Research Interests:

Topological and Geometric Data Analysis, Analysis of Ecological Data, Art and Mathematics, Algebraic Geometry

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