Karin Saoub is finalizing a deal with CRC Press to publish A Tour Through Graph Theory. This will be the first textbook to present graph theory to a general audience, such as students in Karin’s INQ 241 course. Graph theory is the mathematics of network connections, which can be applied in an increasingly large number of modern settings in our digital world. The internet, cell phone connections, Twitter networks, and many more are ready-made graph theory structures. The rankings of web pages for Google, the rankings of sports teams, the spread of rumors, the spread of diseases, and others are less obviously graph theory problems. The above graphic is part of a study of Roanoke City food deserts by RC student Aaron Jackson. The ubiquity of these applications makes Karin’s book a timely one.
The network of Roanoke College mathematics faculty who have published with CRC Press continues to grow. Dave Taylor started it with his The Mathematics of Games: An Introduction to Probability and Roland Minton followed with his soon-to-released Sports Math: An Introduction to the Mathematics of Sports Science and Sports Analytics. Karin’s is the third this decade, representing impressive productivity and important contributions to education nationwide.
The three books illustrate the state of mathematics education at Roanoke: creative faculty who use culturally relevant applications to pull students into fascinating aspects of mathematics. Dave’s book uses board games like Monopoly, dice games like Farkle, and Vegas games like Blackjack to motivate the fundamental concepts of probability theory. Roland’s book applies some of the basics of physics and statistics to the world of sports. The statistical portions can serve as a tutorial for groups like the Stat Crew at Roanoke. Karin’s book has Facebook friendship graphs and road maps for the most efficient UPS-like delivery route.
There is more to mathematics than most people suspect, and we explore many aspects of it at Roanoke College!