Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and
                Lawrence University

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SLU math dept
SLU home page
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Math Fun Facts
Math Circles


Sam Vandervelde's Math Home Page

I am an Associate Professor of Mathematics at St. Lawrence University, located in Canton, NY; I joined the department in the fall of 2007. I enjoy any beautiful mathematical ideas, although I tend to be inclined towards problems in number theory, graph theory, combinatorics, and Euclidean geometry. Current research projects include work on paradoxical decompositions and new partition identities, while my dissertation focused on Mahler measure.

I will be teaching MATH 136 (Integral Calculus) and MATH 205 (Multivariable Calculus) during the Fall 2013 semester. At St. Lawrence I have also taught Bridge to Higher Math, College Geometry, Number Theory, and a Combinatorics seminar.


Contact InfoPublicationsCurrent CVSnow Bowl
High School Math ContestsMath Circles

  I have recently completed a textbook for use with the proofs course taught at St.Lawrence University. My goal in writing the text was to create an excellent, engaging, inexpensive book for my students. Click on the picture of the cover at left for more information about the book, such as how to place an order or how to download portions of the book for review, including the front matter, first three chapters, and answers for all corresponding exercises.  

Contact Info

Dr. Sam Vandervelde
Dept of Math, CS & Stats
St. Lawrence University
23 Romoda Drive
Canton, NY 13617

  Office: Valentine 212
Phone: 315-229-5946
Fax: 315-229-7413



• Fun With FWANADS, Math Horizons, 21(3) (2013) 10–11.
• On the Divisibility of Fibonacci Sequences by Primes of Index Two, Fibonacci Quarterly, 50(3) (2012) 207–16.  PDF
• Jacobi Sum Matrices, American Mathematical Monthly, 119(2) (2012) 100–115. PDF
• Balanced Partitions, Ramanujan Journal, 23(1) (2010) 297–306. PDF
Bridge to Higher Mathematics, self published at, 2010. More info
Circle in a Box, American Mathematical Society, Providence, RI, 2009. Link to PDF
• Expected Value Road Trip, Mathematical Intelligencer, 30(2) (2008) 17–18. PDF
• The Mahler Measure of Parametrizable Polynomials, Journal of Number Theory, 128(8) (2008) 2231–2250. PDF
• A Formula for the Mahler Measure of axy+bx+cy+d, Journal of Number Theory, 100(1) (2003) 184–202. PDF
• Mathematics as a Liberal Art, Journal of Education, 183(3) (2002) 7–15.
The First Five Years, Greater Testing Concepts, Cambridge, MA, 2004. Order
The Mandelbrot Problem Book, Greater Testing Concepts, Cambridge, MA, 2002. Order
Mandelbrot Morsels, Greater Testing Concepts, Potsdam, NY, 2010. Order

To appear
• A Rational Function Whose Integral Values Are Sums of Two Squares, Rocky Mountain Journal of Mathematics. PDF

Curriculum Vitae

My curriculum vitae was last updated during the summer of 2013. PDF

The Snow Bowl

During the fall of 2007 I initiated a friendly math rivalry among Colgate, Hamilton, Skidmore, and St. Lawrence. The Snow Bowl rotates among the math departments at these four schools, awarded annually to the school whose top five students have the highest total score on the Putnam Competition. The bowl returned to SLU for the 2010-11 academic year. The purpose of the rivalry is to promote interest and participation in mathematical problem solving for students at these schools.


High School Math Competitions

I am the author and coordinator of the Mandelbrot Competition, a math contest taken by over 6000 high school students from across the country last year. I oversee all aspects of the competition, including test composition, web site maintenance, and contest administration. My goal is to introduce students to exciting topics outside the normal curriculum and engage them in mathematical writing. I also write questions for and serve on the committee that produces the US Math Olympiad (USAMO).

Math Circles

I am an enthusiastic supporter and promoter of math circles, an extracurricular activity which brings students interested in mathematics together with professional mathematicians who are able to engage them in exciting mathematical investigations. I founded the Stanford Math Circle in 2005 and recently led a math circle at A.A. Kingston Middle School in Potsdam, NY. I was also the first director of the board that created The Teacher's Circle, an analogous activity for middle school math teachers. I organized a minicourse at JMM 2013 designed to aid participants in launching their own successful math circles. Most recently I was one of the organizers for the Great Circles Workshop hosted by MSRI in April 2009. For more information, visit the National Association of Math Circles web site.