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Shahriari, Shahriar 1956-

Shahriari, Shahriar 1956-

PERSONAL:

Born May 30, 1956, in Tehran, Iran; son of Parviz and Zomorod Shahriari; married Nanaz Fathpour, July 31, 1989; children: Kiavash, Neema. Education: Oberlin College, B.A., 1977; University of Wisconsin—Madison, M.A., 1979, Ph.D., 1986.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Pomona College, 610 N. College Ave., Claremont, CA 91711-6348. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

University of Razi, Kermanshah, Iran, instructor, 1979-80; Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, assistant professor of mathematics, 1985-86; California State University, Northridge, assistant professor of mathematics, 1986-89; Pomona College, Claremont, CA, assistant professor, 1989-93, associate professor, 1993-2001, professor, 2001-08, William Polk Russell Professor of Mathematics, 2008—, associate dean of college, 2000-03, chair, department of mathematics, 2004-07. National Science Foundation-supported research assistant, Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, England, 1984; member, Mathematical Science Research Institute Program on Representations of Finite Groups, Berkeley, CA, 1990; visiting researcher, Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics, Tehran, Iran, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2006. Visiting associate in mathematics, California Institute of Technology, 1996-97, 2000. Member, United Nations Mission to Sharif Institute of Technology, Tehran, Iran, 1991-92, and United Nations Mission to Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics, Tehran, 1995-96.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Wig Teaching Award, Pomona College, 1993, 1999, 2008; Carl B. Allendoerfer Award, Mathematical Association of America, 1998; Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2007, American Library Association, 2008, for Approximately Calculus.

WRITINGS:

Approximately Calculus, American Mathematical Society (Providence, RI), 2006.

Also editor, with R.A. Brualdi, S. Hedayat, H. Kharaghani, and G.B. Khosrovshahi, of Discrete Mathematics, Special Issue: International Workshop on Combinatorics, Linear Algebra, and Graph Coloring, Elsevier, 2006. Member of editorial board, Order: A Journal on the Theory of Ordered Sets and its Applications, and MAA Textbooks series.

SIDELIGHTS:

Shahriar Shahriari, the William Polk Russell Professor of Mathematics at Pomona College, is the author of Approximately Calculus, a textbook that works to excite students about the study of calculus and higher mathematical functions. Unlike standard texts, which concentrate on drilling students in mathematical techniques, Approximately Calculus aims to get students to think about the applications of calculus and to understand how and why these applications are used. "My students have been and are great," Shahriari wrote in his preface to the volume. They are eager to engage new material and work hard and they already have had a solid course in calculus.

They know how to do routine derivatives and integrals and how to solve standard calculus problems." "They can also think of worthwhile research projects in the humanities and the social sciences but usually very little about mathematics emerges," the mathematics professor continued. "What do mathematicians work on? What makes them excited about their subject? Do they actually do new research? What does it mean to do research in mathematics?" "I don't believe much is to be gained by doing examples of problems in the text and then having you copy the process," he stated. "In real life very few mathematical problems come neatly packaged at the end of a chapter with supporting examples." "My goal," Shahriari explained, "has been to put together a collection that will give you an opportunity to think deeply and conceptually about calculus and, at the same time, give you some experience with the whole enterprise of mathematics."

"The heart of [Shahriari's] text," wrote a contributor to the SciTech Book News, "is the use of approximation theory." "Calculus," the author explained in his preface, "is such a powerful intellectual tool since it enables us to approximate complicated functions with simpler ones." Calculus also allows researchers to understand and specify where the simpler functions and the complicated ones they represent differ, and the size and specifications of the difference—or "error." Other topics explored in the text include curvature (both extrinsic and intrinsic), Pade approximants (which offer a more accurate way of approximating functions), logarithmic integral, and public key cryptography—a way of making messages and other information secure that has important implications for computer data applications. "It is my hope that, as you work your way through the book," Shahriari concluded in his preface to Approximately Calculus, "you will gain an appreciation for the role and importance of mathematical rigor as well as the value of effectively and clearly communicating mathematical arguments."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Shahriari, Shahriar, Approximately Calculus, American Mathematical Society (Providence, RI), 2006.

PERIODICALS

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, October 1, 2007, J.H. Ellison, review of Approximately Calculus, p. 320.

SciTech Book News, March 1, 2007, review of Approximately Calculus.

ONLINE

Pomona College,http://pomona.edu/ (August 21, 2008), author profile.

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