Dan McQuillan earned his B.A. in mathematics from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and his master’s and Ph.D. in mathematics from Western University, formerly known as the University of Western Ontario.
His major recent work is in topological graph theory, where he is working to develop new methods for calculating crossing numbers of complete graphs. His research publications cover a wide range of topics, from abstract algebra to strategies of Major League Baseball. An outspoken ambassador for the field of mathematics, he has collaborated on projects with many Norwich faculty outside his department, including two papers on the teaching of calculus.
Some of his work involves collaboration with Norwich undergraduates, including numerous student summer research projects. This has led to four professional peer-reviewed mathematics papers for undergraduates in the area of discrete mathematics. This work has primarily involved so-called magic labelings of graphs—an ideal topic for student involvement, as the problems are tractable after standard sophomore level mathematics courses.
In 2002, McQuillan started Norwich University’s involvement in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, North America’s most prestigious mathematics challenge for clever mathematics enthusiasts. He continues coaching the team today. A common theme of his research work and his teaching involves thinking very deeply about a subject, often resulting in a surprisingly simple explanation of something that was previously thought to be complicated. Intuitive discussions of some of his papers, and other reflections on his mathematical experiences, can be found on his blog.