Muhlenberg College

Dr. Eugene Fiorini ‌Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding

Truman Koehler Professor of Mathematics‌‌

"The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disentrall ourselves,..."
Abraham Lincoln, December 1, 1862

Sustaining our quality of life for generations to come while protecting the earth's resources is a shared challenge facing all of humanity. People need food, housing, clean water, and energy; yet the earth’s dynamic systems are unpredictable and its resources are limited. It is important to understand the impact of our actions on the environment, how to adapt those actions to lessen our impact, how to predict and respond to catastrophic events, and how to plan for changes to come. The most pressing problems are inherently multidisciplinary. The mathematical sciences, engineering, natural and social sciences, and the humanities must all work together to find new solutions to these pressing problems.

At the same time the information age is giving way to the age of instantaneous communication shaping the world in unpredictable ways. Geographic boundaries no longer have the same meaning when entities have the ability to electronically crisscross the globe instantaneously. The internet plays an ever-expanding role in our daily lives; yet it is arguably one of the most fragile components of a critical global communications infrastructure. Originally designed as a research network, its use has quickly expanded to include everything from banking, commerce, and telecommunications to remote management of power networks, healthcare, and transportation systems, among many other things. 

Addressing the concerns of sustainability and the emerging instantaneous communication infrastructure requires new thinking and new solutions. We must work in partnership to find effective and creative ways to educate the next generation so they are prepared to confront the issues and problems of their time.

Education

B.S., Pennsylvania State University
M.S., Temple University
M.S., Ph.D., University of Delaware

 

Biography

Prior to arriving at Muhlenberg College, Dr. Fiorini was Associate Director for the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) from 2008-2015. For fourteen years he was a member of the Shippensburg University Mathematics Department where he also served as Chair of the University Scholarship Program, Associate Dean and Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to publications in mathematics, statistics, and mathematics education, Dr. Fiorini authored Modeling Reality with Functions: Graphical, Numerical, Analytical, an applications-based textbook to accompany a course to teach college algebra to non-science majors who traditionally struggled with mathematics.

Dr. Fiorini has been recognized for his work on several projects at the intersection of research and education. These projects include the DIMACS Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, the US-African Biomathematics Initiative, the Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013-Plus project (MPE2013+), development of the SAMSI (Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute) Statistical Forensics Special Program, and the Integrating Mathematics and Biology (IMB) project, for which he has written several chapters of a new high school textbook in biomathematics, including The Neuroscience of Pain and CrIME: Criminal Investigation through Mathematical Examination. Dr. Fiorini was also recognized for developing a Rutgers University Honors Program interactive, interdisciplinary seminar on mathematical forensics.