Faculty Directory

Dr. Joel Louwsma

Dr. Joel Louwsma

Associate Professor of Mathematics

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Office Location:
Dunleavy Hall, Room 341


Dr. Joel Louwsma joined the Niagara University faculty in 2015. He received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 2011 and his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 2005. Before coming to Niagara, he spent time in a postdoctoral position at the University of Oklahoma and a visiting faculty position at Smith College.

Dr. Louwsma has taught a variety of mathematics courses at Niagara, including Introductory Statistics; Calculus I, II and III; Foundations of Mathematics; Linear Algebra; Algebraic Structures I; Probability and Statistics I and II; and Euclidean Geometry. Consistent with current research on effective teaching practices, he aims to create an environment in which students actively engage with course material.

Dr. Louwsma has research interests in topology, group theory, combinatorics, and number theory. Trained as a topologist, his thesis and postdoctoral work focused on quasimorphisms and their connections to stable commutator length and bounded cohomology. More recently, he has also become interested in arithmetical structures on graphs and their critical groups. His work has appeared in journals such as Discrete Mathematics, Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society, and Transactions of the American Mathematical Society.

Dr. Louwsma enjoys working with students on research projects and recently published a paper with a Niagara University undergraduate. He has taken several groups of students to local mathematics conferences.

Dr. Louwsma enjoys traveling, both for pleasure and to attend conferences and visit collaborators. As an undergraduate, he studied abroad in both Hungary and Russia. In recent years, he has made research trips to Germany, Israel, Korea, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

Educational Background

Ph.D. in Mathematics, California Institute of Technology, 2011
B.S. with Highest Honors in Mathematics, University of Michigan, 2005