Professional Background

I arrived at Lafayette College in the Fall of 1992. Since then I have taught lots and lots of calculus, along with a wide variety of non-calculus courses in the Mathematics Department.  I have also taught a sophomore level writing intensive class on ethnomathematics, as part of Lafayette’s core curriculum.

I have an active interest in the use of writing in the mathematics classroom. In fact, Tom Rishel and I have a book on the use of writing as an aid for teaching and learning mathematics. (It is available from the MAA.)

My research is in geometric group theory. That is to say, I study infinite groups, borrowing liberally from other areas of mathematics and closely related fields. In particular, my work involves algorithmic, combinatorial, geometric and topological issues that arise in the study of infinite groups. I earned my PhD at Cornell University, after having gotten my undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.

If you are interested in a gentle introduction to geometric group theory, then take a look at my book: Groups, Graphs and Trees.

Personal Information

JohnMI was born in Wyoming and grew up in various Western and mid-Western states. I try to get back out West whenever possible, especially to the Teton Valley in Idaho.

My wife Trisha Thorme runs the Community Based Learning Initiative at Princeton University.