Author Archives: kasmana

Sad News

Professor Ben Cox passed away peacefully on Saturday September 28, 2019 surrounded by his family.  Ben earned his Ph.D. at UC San Diego, under advisor Thomas Enright, where he worked on algebraic methods in representation theory.  He and his wife, math department chair Liz Jurisich, joined the College of Charleston in 1999 and he spent the remainder of his career here, after having held permanent positions at the University of Montana and Lulea University of Technology in Sweden and visiting positions at the University of Saskatchewan, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Cruz.  Ben was a prolific research mathematician and mathematical physicist, publishing over 40 papers in his career.  Through Ben’s generosity in sharing his love of mathematics with others, he supervised over 30 students in independent research, fostered numerous collaborations, and was awarded a five-year Simons Collaboration Grant in 2014 for his collaborative work in conformal field theory.  Early in his career, Ben was awarded a Young Investigators Grant from the National Security Agency and served as a Consultant with the Center for Communications Research in La Jolla, CA.  He led our M.S. in mathematics for seven years and just last year, he was awarded a conference grant, together with co-investigators Anna Calini and Bob Mignone, in Topological Methods in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

Ben was much more than a mathematician, teacher of mathematics, and colleague.  In his quiet and unassuming way, Ben was a talented artist, an avid surfer and swimmer, a devoted husband to Liz and loving father to their daughter Gwen.  With his wry sense of humor, gentle nature, and strong commitment to his purposes in life, Ben always brought laughter and a smile to any room he entered.

A reception to celebrate Ben’s life will be held at Liz and Ben’s home on Saturday, October 5 from three to seven p.m.  Instead of flowers, the family welcomes donations in Ben’s name to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, South Carolina Chapter.


Grad Program Pizza Party: Wednesday Sept 11th from 5:15PM to 6:30PM in 346 RSS

Are you currently taking a graduate level math course at CofC? Have you taken one in the past or do you plan to take one in the future? Then this party is for you! Come to meet your fellow students and the new grad program co-directors, Alex Kasman and Jiexiang Li. Delicious pizza from D’Allessandro’s (including vegan, vegetarian, and carnivorous options), beverages, and other snacks will be served.

If you have questions or special food requests, please write to and

Hoping to see you there!

Congratulations to Math Department Student Award Recipients

The Susan Prazak Award for Future Teachers is given annually in honor of Sue Prazak, who taught at CofC from 1972 to 1999.  This year’s recipient is Joe Casagranda.

The Ewa Wojcicka Award is our departments top award, given in memory of Professor Wojcicka to a recipient showing exceptional ability, creativity and potential in mathematics.  This year’s recipient of the Wojcicka award is John Cobb.

The Scott Ward Award, given each year to a math major displaying outstanding ability in math and a commitment to connect mathematics to another discipline, goes this year to Blaine Billings.

Outstanding Student Awards went to John  Cobb, Jay Van Raalte, Posy Olivetti, Blaine Billings, Caroline Copeland, Bridget Ierace, Shoshana Berkowitz, Michael Lanier, Elaine Todd, Payden Shaw, Choral Linhart, Allyson Lesher, and Erin Langenstein.

Algebra Seminar for April 5th

At this Friday’s algebra seminar, Andy Walker will conclude his lecture demonstrating some interesting examples of localization of categories.  Anyone interested is welcome to join us at 2PM in 353 RSS.


Algebra Seminar March 1st: Localization of Categories

All interested parties are invited to the weekly Algebra Seminar, held each Friday at 2PM in 353 RSS.  This week’s seminar features Professor Ben Cox lecturing on the Localization of Categories.  For more information, contact Oleg Smirnov (