March 24, 2009

Math expert to speak this week at SIUC

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE -- A Carbondale native who made a name for himself as a local math whiz, athlete and musician will speak at Southern Illinois University Carbondale this week.

Travis Schedler is an instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he holds a five-year fellowship from the American Institute of Mathematics. He will give the Department of Mathematics colloquium presentation at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in the Neckers Building, room A156. A reception will follow in room A356.

The event is free and open to the public.

The presentation, which will discuss noncommutative geometry and the McKay correspondence, will be a return home of sorts for Schedler, who began studying with SIUC mathematics Professor Marvin Zeman as a fifth-grader. Schedler’s SIUC roots run deep, as his father is George E. Schedler, chair of the Department of Philosophy at SIUC.

Travis Schedler went on to attend the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora before going on to Harvard University as a Westinghouse Science Talent Search scholar and Barry Goldwater fellow. After graduating summa cum laude in mathematics, he studied for a year in France, where he put his fluent language skills to work, before earning his doctorate in mathematics in 2008 at the University of Chicago, where he co-authored several research papers and served as National Science Foundation fellow.

Schedler is also an accomplished keyboard musician, playing piano and organ, as well as a singer. An endurance athlete, he competes in triathlons.

Schedler is a C.L.E. Moore instructor in mathematics at MIT.