Robert W. Smyth

Professor of Mathematics

Professor Robert Smyth studied at The Cooper Union from 1987 to 1990. During this period he was a self-admitted dabbler who took courses in mechanical, civil and electrical engineering. He also explored graphic design at Cooper's School of Art and worked through numerous independent studies following his greatest academic passion, mathematics. Upon completion of a B.S.E. at Cooper, Prof. Smyth moved to the Courant Institute at New York University where he earned a M.S. in mathematics. Subsequently he entered the mathematics department of Rutgers University where he collaborated with Prof. Tilla Weinstein on research into Lorentz surfaces. Prof. Smyth defended his thesis Characterization of Lorentz surfaces via the conformal boundary in 1995.

For approximately a decade Prof. Smyth served Georgian Court University, where he taught a wide variety of courses in mathematics and computer science, directed a graduate program in mathematics and designed the curriculum for new programs in computer science and computer information systems. Currently Prof. Smyth is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at his alma mater, The Cooper Union. Prof. Smyth's teaching career has afforded him the opportunity to work with students in calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, differential geometry, complex analysis, probability, number theory, set theory, the calculus of variations and optimal control theory, abstract algebra, topology, foundations of computer science, computer programming, computer architecture, and data structures and algorithmic analysis -- to name a few.

Prof. Smyth's publications include technical articles on conformal classes of indefinite metrics as well as expository work accessible to advanced undergraduates. Papers available online through the American Mathematical Society include Conformally homeomorphic Lorentz surfaces need not be conformally diffeomorphic , Uncountably many C0 conformally distinct Lorentz surfaces and a finiteness theorem and Completing the conformal boundary of a simply connected Lorentz surface . Prof. Smyth holds three United States utility patents. US6670947 and US7804486 disclose designs for computer input devices which provide precise and intuitive rotational control of three dimensional graphic images. US7275934 describes a fun, educational tool.

Prof. Smyth's hobbies include swimming, table tennis, and learning Chinese. He occassionally performs xiangsheng.

Related News

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.