P.W. (Trish) Hammer
Associate  Professor of Mathematics

Trish Hammer, associate professor of mathematics,  joined the Hollins faculty in 1990.  Her scholarly interests involve the application of mathematics to several disciplines including medicine, biology, physiology, and physics.  More specifically, she determines mathematical models that best represent certain physical processes.  Her current work involves coloring of basins of attraction for parameter identification problems using quasilinearization.

Hammer has recently received  three Hollins Academic Initiatives and Enhancements grants for the purposes of new course development in the mathematics curriculum and for two student/faculty research projects.  One research project (2003) involved the creation and development of an interactive web based calculus module for design of thrilling roller coasters.  The second research project (2004) will involve basins of attraction for the method of quasilinearization in parameter identification problems.

Hammer teaches a variety of undergraduate courses including laboratories in mathematical experimentation (new), explorations in analysis - fractals (new), real analysis, transition to advanced mathematics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, pre-calculus, and a senior seminar course which include such topics as glottochronology (dating languages), fractals, mathematical models of blood cell populations, predator-prey populations and cryptanalysis.  She is currently involved in revising the mathematics curriculum to incorporate the latest computer technology.  Several of her courses require the use of MAPLE V mathematical software and/or graphing calculators. 

Hammer has been actively involved in the development of a quantitative reasoning (QR) across the curriculum program at Hollins.  Hammer, along with Professor Caren L. Diefenderfer, received an NSF grant for 2000-2002.  This grant involved outside speakers and faculty workshops for development of applied quantitative reasoning courses at Hollins.

Hammer received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from Virginia Tech.  Her Ph.D. dissertation and related articles have appeared in professional journals.  "Applications of Quasilinearization to Parameter Identification in Partial Differential Equations" appeared in the Pitman Research Notes in Mathematical Series, edited by J. Weiner and J. Hale.  Another article, "Parameter Identification in Parabolic Partial Differential Equations Using Quasilinearization,"  appeared in the Journal of Mathematical Systems, Estimation, and Control. Her article “Identification of Diffusion Coefficients in the Heat Equation using MAPLEV” discusses the incorporation of parameter estimation problems into undergraduate mathematics courses and appeared in the spring 1995 issue of the MAPLE Technical Newsletter. An online interactive web based calculus project entitled "Estimating the Area of Virginia using Integration"  has recently (2003) appeared in the Journal of Online Mathematics and Its Applications.

Outside of mathematics, Hammer enjoys spending time with her husband, kids and bloodhound. She is an avid mystery reader who enjoys travel, weight lifting, cross stitch, hiking and cooking.