Rosemarie Emanuele

"Math Geek Mom"

Although she holds a Ph.D. in economics from Boston College, Rosemarie Emanuele is a professor and the chair of the Department of Mathematics at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. She loves to teach math but also pursues research related to the economics of nonprofit organizations and volunteer labor, and has published in both economics and interdisciplinary journals — as well as in the book that inspired this blog. She is the proud mother of a wonderful daughter.

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Most Recent Articles

September 22, 2011
As readers of my column here know, I like to start my entries out by providing a “hook” from either math or economics, and then relating it to some aspect of parenting as a professor. Usually it is easy to choose which topic to use. Today, however, I am following the lead of my daughter, who, when faced with two good options, will often say “I want both.” For today, I cannot choose between writing about “randomness” or about “Venn Diagrams”, as both are equally appropriate for what I want to say.
September 15, 2011
The term "bifurcate" means to divide into two, to have the main body of something divide into two parts. I assume that being able to so this would allow one to, in essence, be in two places at once. I have been thinking of this term often in these last few weeks, as school started up again for me and for my daughter. It seems that I am constantly finding reasons why it would be good for me to be able to bifurcate.
September 8, 2011
The concept of “inverse” is central to Algebra. It might be used when describing adding a negative number to a positive one to clear out a simple algebraic equation, or might show up as a topic in Abstract (or Modern) Algebra. Recall that when talking about addition, the inverse operation is subtraction, while division is the inverse of multiplication.
September 8, 2011
September 1, 2011
When I was in my graduate program in economics, and chose Labor Economics as one of my fields, I would joke that I would someday deliver a baby and be, once again, “in labor.” Today, I remain a labor economist who focuses on the economics of nonprofit organizations, and it is this background in labor economics that makes me reflect this weekend as our country celebrates “Labor Day.”
August 25, 2011
There is a concept in labor economics called a “reservation wage.” This is the lowest wage that one would be willing to accept in order to be enticed to enter the formal labor market. This may depend on many things, including one’s assessment of the need to earn income for one’s family as well as the utility gained from spending time with one’s family on an informal basis. I thought of this last week as my daughter’s school began again and I found myself picking her up from “after care” where she stayed following the school day, as I finished up my work day.
August 18, 2011
There is a concept used in calculus and economics called “elasticity.” This idea measures the percent change in one variable as another variable experiences a one percent change. This is often used to talk about, for example, demand for a product, demand that might change for many reasons, as when the price of a product changes, or when the price of a close substitute changes, or even when the income of consumers change.
August 11, 2011
In math we often talk about “bounded sets.” A bounded set in two dimensions is one that we can draw a circle around, while one in three dimensions is one that can be placed in a sphere. I thought of this recently as I reflected back on the summer that is almost over. Bounded by the end of school on one side and the beginning of a new school year on the other, the set “the days of summer vacation” is certainly a bounded set, one what is quickly approaching the end of the list of such values.
August 4, 2011
The idea of “reflection” is one of several Euclidean motions in a plane that are studied in geometry. Along with it are concepts such as rotation and translation. It was reflection, however, that I found myself thinking of recently as I watched my child at the public pool. I did this for two reasons. The first was that the pool has reversed the set up of the “lap” lines and the available lower diving board across an imaginary line of reflection down the center of the deep end of the pool.
July 28, 2011
It is suspected that the 360 degrees in a circle may have originated from the 365 days in a year, as these 365 days bring us back to the day where we began, even as turning a geometric figure a full turn of 360 degrees returns the figure to where it started. This weekend the Jesuit order, which educated me, once again celebrates its founder.

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