I hope you're enjoying your tour of the Elmira College Website. I'm Dr. Joseph Kolacinski, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, although my students call me "Dr. K." On these pages, you'll find information about much of what I do at Elmira College. If you'd like more information about what you read here or are interested in our Mathematics Program, please feel free to contact me.
My current research interests lie in the field of voting theory, investigating the properties of different voting systems and how using these systems might have affected different elections. I am also interested in the field of Mathematics Education; my doctoral treatise looked at the relationship between the psychological concept of learned helplessness and the phenomenon of mathematics anxiety. Probably the majority of my efforts in this area are involved in creating materials aimed directly at students including class activities and computer labs. For the last few summers I've participated in the Mathematics and Natural Science division's summer research program in which several students remain on campus for eight weeks and work with various professors in our division on different research projects.
Like the other members of the Mathematics Department, I teach the entire range of mathematics classes from College Algebra to graduate classes such as Number Theory. This year I will be teaching the Precalculus sequence (Precalculus I and II) and Senior Seminar, as well as Calculus III (Fall Term) and College Algebra (Winter Term). One of my favorite things about Elmira College is our Spring Term and the opportunities it allows for teaching different, innovative and interdisciplinary courses. For Spring Term, I've developed courses such as "Number Systems: Some Math for Elementary Educators," "Codes and Secret Messages: Cryptography for Non-Mathematicians" and "A Mathematician Looks at American History." I also regularly teach classes on certain aspects of Science Fiction in conjunction with Dr. Mitchell Lewis of our English Department. For the Spring 2013 term, we will be teaching "Comic Books and Graphic Novels."
I am also active in the college community in a number of other ways. I am a member of the Curricular Policy Committee, the Assessment and Planning Committee and the Teacher Education Advisory Group. I am the Faculty Advisor of the Elmira College Mathematics Club and the Pi Mu Epsilon chapter, and am occasionally active with the College's Circle K club. My involvement with Circle K dates back to 1982. I served as a club President and Florida District Governor as an undergraduate and as Florida District Administrator once I had joined Kiwanis.
Outside the EC community I am a life member of the Florida Circle K Alumni Association and am active with the Mathematical Association of America and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. I am an Alumni of the MAA's Project NExT. It was as a participant of project NExT that I met my wife, Joanne Redden who also teaches Mathematics at Elmira College. We live in Horseheads, New York and are the proud parents of three cats.