# welcome to Dana's web page

My name is Dana Ernst and I am an assistant professor in the Mathematics Department at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH.

My primary research interests are in the interplay between combinatorics and algebraic structures. More specifically, I study the combinatorics of Coxeter groups and their associated Hecke algebras, Kazhdan--Lusztig theory, generalized Temperley--Lieb algebras, diagram algebras, and heaps of pieces. By employing combinatorial tools such as diagram algebras and heaps of pieces, one can gain insight into algebraic structures associated to Coxeter groups, and, conversely, the corresponding structure theory can often lead to surprising combinatorial results. The combinatorial nature of my research naturally lends itself to collaborations with advanced undergraduate students, and my goal is to incorporate undergraduates in my research as much as possible. See my research page for more information.

Furthermore, I am passionate about mathematics education. Recently, I have become interested in inquiry-based learning and the Moore method for teaching mathematics. This educational paradigm has transformed my teaching.

I am also interested in utilizing technology to enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics. In particular, I choose free and open-source software and technologies when appropriate. For example, I have been incorporating Sage and Lurch into my teaching. Sage is a free open-source mathematics software system licensed under the GPL. It combines the power of many existing open-source packages into a common Python-based interface. Lurch is open-source mathematics validation software with the ability to check the steps of your work in many areas of mathematics, from calculus to logic. I also make use of wikis for some of my courses to enhance collaboration and to introduce students to LaTeX. For a recent example of one of my course wikis, go here.

In addition to using free and open-source software, I am inspired by the recent open-source textbook movement and I strongly believe that educators should choose free, open-source, or low cost textbooks when a viable alternative exists. For a selection of free and/or open-source textbooks, go here.

I am also the organizer of the PSU Mathematics Seminars. Each semester, the PSU Mathematics Department hosts 3--4 seminars. Most of the talks will be held in Hyde 349 (our conference room) and last roughly an hour. Most talks start at 4PM, but please see the announcement for each talk to confirm the time. A half hour before each of the talks, there will either be pizza or coffee, tea, and snacks. All of the talks are meant to be accessible to students and the topics vary from pure mathematics to mathematics education. Anyone is welcome to attend. If you are interested in giving a seminar, please .

Lastly, I am an avid cyclist and rock climber and also enjoy hikes with the family and drinking copious amounts of coffee.