Mathematics & Computer Science

Mathematics professor Spencer Hamblen teaching class.  illustration


Personal attention is the hallmark of the Mathematics & Computer Science department where the average class size for majors is 10 students or fewer. In addition to regular courses, advanced courses are offered for those students who will benefit from a particular subject. Students who like puzzles, precise thinking, and new challenges may choose to major or minor in either subject and often elect a dual major in both. Both programs develop critical thinking skills that qualify graduates for professional opportunities with corporations and government agencies  or advanced graduate study at highly ranked universities.

Lewis Hall of Science


Dr. Spencer Hamblen
Department Chair
(410) 857-2471

Mathematics Online Catalog
Computer Science Online Catalog

Additional information can be found at:

Majors & Courses

Professors who teach Mathematics & Computer Science focus on providing students with the problem-solving expertise essential as a foundation for a variety of careers, as well as having a thorough preparation for graduate study. Students also have the opportunity through the topics courses, the problem seminars, the independent studies courses, and electives to focus on individual needs and objectives.

The department offers the major, minor and dual majors in Mathematics & Computer Science with complementary studies in the following disciplines: Biology, Business Administration & Economics, Chemistry, Philosophy, and Physics. Students who major in Mathematics may elect to minor in Education and earn Secondary Teacher Certification.

Students also have the opportunity to intern at a company or government agency, or to pursue independent research with a faculty member.


Spencer HamblenAssociate Professor and department chair Spencer Hamblen

(Ph.D. Cornell University), is the advisor to the Math Club and Kappa Mu Epsilon, the Mathematics Honor Society at McDaniel. He studies number theory, algebraic symmetry, and arithmetic dynamics. He also enjoys baking pecan pi and high quality chalkboard chalk.


Michele GribbenSenior Lecturer Michele Gribben

(M.S. University of Maryland Baltimore County), teaches Mathematical Excursions and focuses on making mathematics accessible.


Assistant Professor Paul (Chia-En) LinAssistant Professor Paul (Chia-En) Lin

(Ph.D University of North Texas), teaches programming languages, algorithms, and computation theory. His interests include software systems, performance modeling, and distributed applications. He likes to explore them on the Web or in the Cloud.


Professor Italo SimonelliProfessor Italo Simonelli

(Ph.D. Temple University), Research interest: probability theory, statistics, graph theory and combinatorics.



Assistant Professor Benjamin SteinhurstAssistant Professor Benjamin Steinhurst

(Ph.D. University of Connecticut), teaches the department's courses in calculus and mathematical analysis. He also supervises student research in fractal geometry during the summer and connects large crochet projects with hyperbolic geometry in the winter.


Assistant Professor Ting ZhangAssistant Professor Ting Zhang

(Ph.D. University of Massachusetts), teaches the art of programming and network security. Her research interests include localization, networking and distributed data, with current focus on fast and efficient techniques targeting social, sensing, storage and search applications.


Student-Faculty Research

As a results of Summer Student-Faculty Research during 2013 and 2014, Anna Cooke (Class of 2016), Spencer Hamblen, and Samuel Whitfield (Class of 2015) recently had the paper “Sums of Squares in Quaternion Rings” accepted for publication in Involve.


Recent student–faculty research collaboration

Student Professor Topic
Josh Bussiere
Christina Wroblewski
Ben Steinhurst Fractals and Recursively Stable Words
Blake Schildhauer
Chung Truong
Ann Marshall
Samantha Smith
Spencer Hamblen Sums of Cubes in Quaternion Rings
Zachary Littrell Italo Simonelli Feasible configurations of Nash Equilibria in regular graphs
Tyler Hoffman Ben Steinhurst Hausdorff Dimension of Generalized Fibonacci Word Fractals
Madison Gamble
Blake Schildhauer
Spencer Hamblen Sums of Cubes in Quaternion Rings
Anna Cooke
Sam Whitfield
Spencer Hamblen Sums of 2^n-th powers in Quaternion Rings

Our department has a long tradition of student-faculty collaborative research, and our students frequently present their work at national conferences, often winning awards for their presentations.

Some recent student accomplishments:

  • Madison Gamble and Blake Schildhauer: 1st place Student Poster Award, MD-DC-VA MAA Spring Section Meeting (2016)
  • Tyler Hoffman: 2nd place Student Paper Award, MD-DC-VA MAA Spring Section Meeting (2016)
  • Blake Schildhauer: MAA Outstanding Presentation Award, Joint Mathematics Meetings (2016)
  • Tyler Hoffman: MAA Outstanding Presentation Award, MathFest (2015)
  • Tyler Hoffman, Amanda Owens, and Sam Whitfield: 1st place, Math Jeopardy, MD-DC-VA MAA Spring Section Meeting (2015)
  • Tyler Hoffman, Amanda Owens, Meg Prtozman, and Sam Whitfield: 1st place, Radical Dash, MD-DC-VA MAA Spring Section Meeting (2015)

Last semester, Darby Bortz (Mathematics major) studied in the prestigious Budapest Semester in Mathematics Education program.

We have also had several Computer Science major pursue impressive internships with companies in the MD-DC-VA area.

Some outstanding current students:

  • Blake Schildhauer (Math major, Education minor)
  • Tyler Hoffman (Mathematics and Computer Science double major)
  • Bryan Fidler (Computer Science)
  • Samantha Smith (Math major, Biology minor)
  • Madison Gamble (Math major)

After McDaniel

Our graduates distinguish themselves by acceptance into some of the finest graduate programs in the country; majority receive fellowships or assistantships which funds their studies at either the Master's or Ph.D. level.

  • Brandeis
  • Cornell
  • Harvard
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Michigan
  • North Carolina State
  • SUNY at Stony Brook
  • U. of California at Berkeley
  • U. of Maryland
  • U. of Michigan
  • U. of Pennsylvania
  • U. of Texas at Austin
  • U. of Virginia
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute
  • Washington at St. Louis

McDaniel has a chapter (the Beta chapter in MD was established in 1965) of Kappa Mu Epsilon, the national honor society in Mathematics to promote scholarship in Mathematics and to recognize good performance in the study of Mathematics. Students meet monthly and volunteer as tutors in math and computer science courses.

Frequently our graduates return to discuss career opportunities in mathematics and computer science at annual Career Nights. In the last few years graduates with the following positions have been back on campus:

  • Senior programmer/analyst, Sentient HealthCare
  • Mathematician, Pentagon
  • Systems engineer EDS
  • Senior Actuarial Assistant, USF&G Insurance Co.
  • Cartographer, Defense Mapping Agency
  • Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Credit Analyst, Maryland Bank Statistician, National Agricultural Statistics Service
  • NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
  • Vice President, Dean Witter Reynolds Chief, Computer Science Division, Department of Defense (NSA)
  • Director of Financial Planning, Denny's Restaurants
  • Senior Computer Programmer, National Geographic Society
  • Senior Accountant, Homewood Hospital Center
  • Assistant Circulation Director, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine
  • Vice President IIT Research Institute
  • Programming Analyist, Datatel Corporation
Learning to crochet helps students understand hyperbolic geometry

Ben Steinhurst

The intersection of hyperbolic geometry and crochet provided that incredible “aha” moment for every one of Mathematics professor Ben Steinhurst’s 10 students.
They touch it.

They experience it. They get it – they really do.

© 2019 McDaniel College