Robert JS McDonald

Lecturer in Mathematics, Yale University


See my bio Me.

Current Research Interests

Currently, I am a PhD student at the University of Connecticut. My advisor is Alvaro Lozano-Robledo. Current research interests include number theory, arithmetic geometry, elliptic curves, and Galois representations. My thesis focuses on classifying torsion subgroups of elliptic curves over function fields of genus zero and one. Recently, I have become interested in torsion subgroups of elliptic curves over function fields of hyperelliptic curves.

Research Dossier

Research Articles

  1. Torsion Subgroups of Elliptic Curves over Function Fields of Genus 0, in JNT
  2. Torsion Subgroups of Elliptic Curves over Function Fields of Genus 1 (current rough draft)

Talks Given

Seminar Talks

  • Torsion Subgroups of Elliptic Curves over Function Fields of Genus 0 and 1March 5, 2019Five College Number Theory Seminar, University of Connecticut
  • Torsion Subgroups of Elliptic Curves over Function FieldsNovember 28, 2018Algebra Seminar, University of Connecticut
  • Torsion Subgroups of Elliptic Curves over Function FieldsDecember 11, 2017Number Theory Seminar, Boston University
  • ABC and Fermat for PolynomialsApril 1, 2017SIGMA Seminar, University of Connecticut
  • The Fermat Equation for PolynomialsSpring 2017Undergraduate Math Club Talk, University of Connecticut

Conference Talks

  • Torsion Subgroups of Elliptic Curves over Function Fields of Genus 1April 14, 20191148th AMS Sectional Meeting
  • Torsion Subgroups of Elliptic Curves over Function FieldsJanuary 19, 20192019 Joint Math Meetings
  • Torsion Subgroups of Elliptic Curves over Function FieldsMarch 20, 20182018 Automorphic Forms Workshop, Tufts University
  • Torsion Subgroups of Elliptic Curves over Function Fields of Genus 0October 14, 2017Maine-Québec Number Theory Conference, University of Maine

Conferences Attended

  • 1148th AMS Sectional MeetingApril 2019University of Connecticut Hartford, Hartford, CT
  • Northeast Consortium for Quantitative Literacy XXII MeetingMarch 2019Bay Path University, Longmeadow, MA
  • 2019 Joint Math MeetingsJanuary 2019Baltimore, MD
  • Connecticut Summer School in Number Theory (CTNT)May 2018University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
  • Automorphic Forms WorkshopMarch 2018Tufts University, Boston, MA
  • Arizona Winter School: Iwasawa Theory March 2018University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  • Maine-Québec Number TheoryOctober 2017University of Maine, Orono, ME
  • MSRI Summer School: Automorphic Forms and Langlands Program July/August 2017MSRI, Berkeley, CA
  • Seventh Upstate New York Number Theory Conference May 2017Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
  • Arizona Winter School: Perfectoid SpacesMarch 2017University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  • Connecticut Summer School in Number TheoryAugust 2016University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
  • Arizona Winter School: Arithmetic GeometryMarch 2016University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  • BU/Keio University Workshop 2015 September 2015Boston University, Boston, MA
  • Elliptic Curves @ UConn May 2014University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
  • Advanced Technological Education (ATE) 2013 Conference Fall 2013American Association of Community Colleges, Washington DC

Current Teaching (Univeristy of Connecticut)

Currently, I am lecturing two sections of Applied Linear Algebra, Course Webpage

Teaching Dossier

Teaching Experience

Yale University

Lecturer

University of Connecticut

Lecturer

  • Applied Linear AlgebraFall 2018
  • Calculus for Business and EconomicsSpring 2016, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2018
  • BRIDGE CalculusSummer 2015

Teaching Assistant

  • CTNT Graduate AssistantSummer 2018
  • Calculus IISpring 2017
  • Calculus for Business and EconomicsSummer 2016
  • CTNT Graduate AssistantSummer 2016
  • Calculus IIFall 2015
  • Calculus ISpring 2015
  • Calculus IIFall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014
Eastern Connecticut State University

Internship in College Teaching

  • Geometry Fall 2012

Family and Home

Me and the fam. Currently, I live in Middletown, CT, with my wife, Kayla, and our newborn son, Andrew, born June 2019. We are absolutely in love with him. We also have a cat, Lemma, who's been with us since I started graduate school. Kayla and I love to travel, and have taken a trip every year since we met. Most notable was our two-month cross country trip in 2016. We took a very awkward route to California which saw us in Nashville, St. Louis, New Mexico, the Grand Canyon, and Vegas. Our route back was more direct. We loved seeing the Grand Canyon, the redwoods, Yosemite, Yellow Stone, and so much more.

Some Hobbies

Tough mudder. I love to hike, bike, and run, though I'm trying to get back in to the latter. I'm really into table top RPGs, and may have dabbled a little bit in LARP (don't tell anyone). I'm equally interested in video games, and fill a lot of my "free time" playing new and retro games. Finally, I love to sing and play music. I'm in the Vernon Chorale, a small choral ensemble in Vernon, and I'm getting ready to play the saxophone in the Middletown Symphonic Band. I don't think I'm particularly good at either, but it's an amazing outlet. I've run a few half marathons, and one full marathon (where "run" is an operative term). I've also done a rugged maniac, but my all time favorite was the Tough Mudder!

Experiences in Education

I've been living in Connecticut since I was five or six years old. I grew up in a small town called Scotland, about 45 minutes East of Hartford, CT. Scotland is a very small town, with a population of about 1700 people. There were 20 students in my class at primary school, and with two other towns, Chaplin and Hampton (with a total population of around 4000 between all three), I had a high school graduating class of 30 students. Honestly, I loved the experience of a small school and a small community, which is why I ended up going to a small local community college and Eastern Connecticut State University, a small liberal arts college in Willimantic, CT, to complete my bachelors in mathematics. ECSU was by far the best choice for me; they had 5000 undergraduates, and my class sizes were rarely over 10-15 students. The liberal arts philosophy fostered great relationships between me, my class, and my professors, and I left feeling more well-rounded than I would have with a more preprofessional education at a larger university.

While finishing up at Eastern, I spent some time working as a metal cutting engineer at Spirol International in Danielson, CT. Here, I designed side and end-work cutting tools for multispindle lathes. It was very fun, but ultimately, I decided my true passion was for math research and teaching. That's when I decided to go to the University of Connecticut (a not so small school) to pursue my PhD in mathematics, which I received in May of 2019!