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Gretchen Ostheimer

Associate Professor of Computer Science


Degrees

PHD, 1996, Rutgers University; BA, 1979, Wellesley Coll


Bio

I am an associate professor in the computer science department at Hofstra. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in 1979 from Wellesley College, with a major in mathematics. After I graduated I worked in a variety of jobs (mostly software engineering) in the United States, England and Canada. In 1989 I returned to full-time studies in the graduate program in mathematics at Rutgers University. I completed my Ph.D. in 1996. I joined the computer science faculty at Hofstra in 1999, after three years as an associate professor of mathematics at Tufts University.

My research interests are on the boundary of abstract algebra and theoretical computer science. Broadly speaking, I am interested in .nding ways that computer science can be brought to bear on open problems in a branch of abstract algebra called group theory. Some of my work is about finding fast algorithms for solving unsolved problems in the theory of infinite groups. Another area of interest is the use of formal language theory from computer science to understand the complexity of problems that arise in group theory.

In my teaching I am particularly interested in the development of innovative tools for empowering students to be independent, creative thinkers. I emphasize collaborative learning and the development of vibrant intellectual community.


Teaching Interests

True to her early training as a student at Wellesley College, Dr. Ostheimer is a tireless promoter of mathematics and computer science in liberal arts education. She uses writing to teach mathematics and computer science, and she uses mathematics and computer science to teach her students to become better writers, thinkers and communicators.

Research Interests

Dr. Ostheimer's research interests are on the boundary of group theory and theoretical computer science. Her specific interests include decidability questions, practical algorithms and relationships between group theory and formal language theory, with an emphasis in all cases on achieving a better understanding of infinite solvable groups.

Recent Courses Taught

Course Title Level
CSC 014 (CS,MA) DISCRETE STRCTRS CSC I Undergraduate
CSC 024 DISCRETE STRUCTURES FOR CSC II Undergraduate
CSC 143N ADVN TOPC IN COMPLEXITY THEORY Undergraduate
CSC 161 INTRO AUTOMATA THRY Undergraduate
CSC 202 COMPUTABILITY Graduate
CSC 300 INDEPENDENT PROJECTS Graduate
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