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

March 10, 2011
I am commonly struck with a mixture of pride, relief and fear when I hand in my column each week. The fear comes from a realization that I need to write another column next week. This was not the case for long last week. After reading the comments posted to my column from last week, I realized that I wanted to dust off some of my text books from my Labor Economics classes I taught long ago. In them are some thoughts about why it is that women are often paid less than men, a common theme among the respondents to my column last week.
March 3, 2011
Last week, I was thrilled to find a book in my campus mailbox that had been left there by our college president. It was a book that she had run across dealing with the “golden ratio”, and she thought I might enjoy it. By Mario Livo, it is called “The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World’s Most Amazing Number.” I am currently reading it, with plans of donating it to our library when I finish.
February 24, 2011
I have never been a huge fan of “time series regression”, as I usually use what is known as “cross sectional analysis” in my own work. The statistical technique of time series analysis allows one to calculate a trend line that professes to explain how something changes over time. As part of the process of calculating this, it is common to remove seasonal influences in the data, to better explain what is occuring. For example, wrapping paper may sell better around December than in June, while bathing suits sell better in July than in November.
February 17, 2011
When I am asked what Economics is, I sometimes answer that it is the study of how we make decisions under constraints. How much to buy with a limited budget and how to use our limited time are two examples of such decisions that come to mind immediately. Calculus and Statistics are central to how such decisions are studied, and so have become the second language through which I communicate.
February 10, 2011
In the book "Mama, Ph.D.," my essay that tells of the very nonlinear path I took into academia and parenthood, begins with the phrase “I woke up on the first day of classes, at my first tenure track job, and I didn’t know where I was.” I recall vividly the thought process I then went through, and can even picture the poster I looked at on the wall as I did so.
February 3, 2011
When I think back to the one day that almost everyone in my generation recalls vividly, I remember that the one thing that gave me perspective on September 11, 2001 was the fact that I taught my class in College Algebra. When my students were having trouble making it to class, because of closed bridges and highways, I stood in front of a (small) class and explained the rules by which the mathematical world, if not the real world, functioned.
January 27, 2011
When graphing points on a number line, one can graph all points up to and including a point by using a line that ends with a closed circle, but can indicate all points up to, but not including that point by instead ending with an open circle. In the later case, one can get as close to the end point as possible without hitting that point, making the difference between the point and any chosen point infinitesimally small. I thought of this concept this past week when I heard of a proposal about grading parents of students that was proposed by a legislator from Florida.
January 20, 2011
In economics, we sometimes describe economic activity as being able to be modeled by what we call a “well behaved function,” meaning that it meets certain usual assumptions that are necessary to proceed with a mathematical analysis.
January 13, 2011
In geometry, we study the “Euclidean motions in a plane”, which include translations (sliding a figure across a plane) as well as other motions, such as reflection and rotation. I found myself thinking of the motion of translation recently when I met someone who works in special education, and we began to discuss the idea of what it means to say that someone has a learning disability. Of course, I have come to prefer the label of “learning difference”, because that is what it really is.
January 6, 2011
Grades from last semester are only a distant memory for most of us, but, as a new semester stretches out before us, I find myself thinking about last semester’s classes. I am particularly interested in feedback on an idea I have had for several years.

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