Sunita Chepuri smiles

I study: Combinatorics, which is the math of discrete objects. Discrete objects are things that can be counted—for example, the rearrangements of the letters of the word ‘banana.’ (There are 60 different ways to do this; try to convince yourself!) In particular, I work in algebraic combinatorics. This means I use structures from algebra, usually matrices, to study these objects.

Why?The thing I enjoy most about math is being able to do examples, find a pattern, and then explain why that pattern exists. Since the objects I work with are very concrete, it is easy to do lots of examples to help me guess at the underlying patterns. Also, I often get to make a lot of colorful pictures in my area, which is a plus.”

This fall I’m teaching: “Calculus I”

What students can expect from me:In my classes, students will work in groups to explore mathematical concepts. Class time will focus less on procedural activities and more on developing intuition, logical reasoning, and communicating technical ideas. I also will frequently have students reflect on the mathematical community and their role in it.

I’m excited to be here because: “I’m excited to be at a place that values teaching and encourages the kind of student-professor relationships I benefited from as an undergraduate at a small liberal arts college. I also love how committed Lafayette is to making everyone affiliated with the College feel part of the community.”

Getting to know me:I run a fantasy league for The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.”

Categorized in: Academic News, Faculty and Staff, Mathematics, News and Features