Steve Schlicker

Professor of Mathematics

Ph.D. Northwestern University , 1987

M.A. Northwestern University, 1983

B.A. Michigan State University , 1981

I earned my Ph.D. in 1987, specializing in Algebraic K-Theory and the Cohomology of Groups. I taught for four years at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa before I came to Grand Valley in 1991.

I have led several research projects with undergraduates in fractal geometry and the Hausdorff metric geometry. Details of these projects can be found here. Like many other people, I have become fascinated with fractal geometry and chaos. Not only is the subject interesting, but it offers some reasonable problems that are accessible to undergraduates. My interest in fractal geometry has led to recent work, through our REU, to studies in the Hausdorff metric geometry.

Kevin Dennis and I worked together at Luther College on my first such project in fractal geometry. Aimee Kunnen and I extended the work Kevin and I did into three dimensions. The work with Aimee Kunnen was funded by a grant from Grand Valley's Summer Undergraduate Program. The images on my home page (an emerging Sierpinski dodecahedron and octahedron) are from these projects. If interested, you can view images of some of the other fractals (an emerging Sierpinski pentagon, heptagon, octagon, tetrahedron, and icosahedron  Dennis, Kunnen and I created.

In the summer of 2000, I was the PI of a National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. A list of current REU sites in mathematics can be found here. Other faculty involved in the 20002 GVSU REU were Ed Aboufadel, Paul Fishback, Jody Sorensen, and Clark Wells. We had a great group in 2000. I worked with Dominic Braun (then at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, now in graduate school at the University of Virginia) studying the geometry of the Hausdorff metric.

Our REU program received funding from the NSF to continue in the summers 2002-2004. More information can be found at our REU web site. Again, we had a fantastic group in 2002. That summer Audrey Powers (Agnes Scott College), John Mayberry (then at California State University at Fullerton, now at the University of Southern California) and I continued our investigations into the geometry of the Hausdorff metric. We have submitted our results for publication. The other faculty involved in 2002 were Ed Aboufadel, Jody Sorensen, and Clark Wells.

In our REU 2003, Christopher Bay (Truman State University) and Amber Lembcke (Concordia College) were the two students from our REU group with whom I worked. We had a great time extending the previous REU results about the Hausdorff metric geometry. Chris and Amber worked on separate, but connected problems. Amber investigated the geometry of two-point sets and Chris was able to determine some general properties of Hausdorff lines. A paper describing our results will soon appear in Demonstratio Mathematics. In 2003, Ed Aboufadel, Matt Boelkins, Clark Wells, and I were the faculty mentors for the program.

The 2004 REU once again had my group working on the Hausdorff metric geometry. This time, I worked with Kris Lund (GVSU) and Patrick Sigmon (Wake Forest University).  We found some interesting and surprising properties of segments in this geometry, along with connections to the Fibonacci and Lucas numbers and a fascinating property of the number 19. We are currently working on two different papers to submit for publication. The other faculty mentors in the 2004 REU were Ed Aboufadel, Will Dickinson, and Jody Sorensen.

We will be recruiting soon for REU 2005 (pending funding). Please see our REU web site for details as they become available.

Another area of interest is wavelets. My colleague Ed Aboufadel and I have an introductory book Discovering Wavelets, which is now available. The Discovering Wavelets website contains information and links to many interesting sites on the subject.

I am also heavily involved in the Michigan section of the MAA. Our section sponsors many fantastic programs and activities. For example, the High School Visiting Lecturer Program sponsors volunteer lecturers from colleges, business, and industry to visit to high schools in the state and speak on topics in mathematics while the Michigan Mathematics Prize Competition encourages students to develop their interests and abilities in mathematics. I am section chair this year.

While you are here, please visit our department home page.

You can contact me at:
Steve Schlicker
Department of Mathematics
Grand Valley State University
Allendale, MI 49401

(616) 331-2305