% University of Oregon: Department of Mathematics
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University of Oregon: Department of Mathematics

Office: 307 Fenton 
Phone: (541) 346-5627
Fax: (541) 346-0987
E-mail: dps "at" math.uoregon.edu

Mathematics Department
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403

Classes (Fall 2012):
MA 211: Fundamentals of Elementary Mathematics, I
MA 607: Group Cohomology
B.S. (1993), Massachusetts Institute of Topology;
Ph.D. (1999), Stanford University
Tamarkin Instructor (1997-2001), Brown University.
Assistant and then Associate Professor (2001-present), University of Oregon.

Research interests include homotopy theory and its relationships to the study of manifolds, in particular in knot theory, configuration spaces, and transformation groups. I have had three graduate students complete PhDs, namely Matt Miller who studied orbit configuration spaces of Lens spaces, Chad Giusti who worked out a piecewise-linear version of Vassiliev theory, and Kristy Pelatt who studied the homology of knot spaces. I currently have one student working towards her PhD, namely Safia Chettih.

My teaching interests and practices include creating context to facilitate abstract reasoning, "putting problems first" in teaching proofs, and giving frequent small assignments to foster independence in advanced courses. After using some of these techniques in courses for pre-service teachers, I have been getting heavily involved in a number of efforts in K-12 mathematics education, especially in support of implementation of the Common Core.

I am an editor of the journal Homology, Homotopy and Applications. I have been my department's Director of Graduate Studies and a member and sometimes chair of the University's Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. In the past I have served on the University Library Committee which is currently very concerned about the pricing of journals.

I co-organize the West Coast Algebraic Topology Summer School which focussed on the Madsen-Weiss theorem in 2010 and Algebraic K-theory in 2012. I also co-organized the Stanford Symposium in Algebraic Topology in the summer of 2012, in honor of my PhD advisor Gunnar Carlsson along with Ralph Cohen and Ib Madsen. I also co-organized a workshop on Knot Spaces at the American Institute of Mathematics in January 2006; an AMS Special Session on Algebraic Topology of Moduli Spaces in November 2005; and the Cascade Topology Seminar in the fall of 2003.

As for my personal interests, I run, bike, cook and am an avid fan of track and field (all activities for which Oregon is a great setting).