Mathematics professor Jessica Sidman loves to see how much students' knowledge, ability, and confidence can grow over the course of a semester. She says, "I feel like I am a success as a teacher when students start to depend less on me and realize that they can answer each other's questions."
Interactions between algebra and geometry figure prominently in Sidman's research. "The following question is a common theme running throughout my work: How is the geometry of the set of common zeroes of a system of polynomial equations related to the algebraic "complexity" of the system? I am particularly interested in this question when the solution set is a collection, or arrangement, of linear subspaces. Arrangements of linear subspaces arise in several areas of mathematics, including invariant theory and topology, as well as in applications such as computer vision, and there is much yet to explore!"
Sidman especially appreciates the research opportunities available through the Five College Consortium. "The valley is home to a lively and active research group interested in exploring questions linking commutative algebra and algebraic geometry. Weekly seminars really help keep me abreast of current developments in the field."
The author of several publications, Sidman has also been invited to speak at national and international conferences and seminars. She was named an AMS Project NEXT Fellow in 2003 and a National Science Foundation (NSF) Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellow in 2002–2003.