Years at the college:
1985 - Present
B.A. Colorado College 1975
Kathy Merrill graduated from Colorado College in 1975, and after some master's work in New Mexico, earned a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Her specialty is harmonic analysis, but Merrill has a wide range of interests in mathematics (e.g. linear algebra, symmetry, number theory) and, perhaps, has never turned down the opportunity to think about a new problem. She brought further strength to a department experiencing a growing reputation for teaching excellence; her particular style of mathematical exuberance sparks similar enthusiasm in her audiences.
Merrill has maintained a close connection with her dissertation advisor, Larry Baggett, at the University of Colorado and continued to publish research papers. Her regular trips to Boulder kept her mathematical interests evolving, and when wavelet theory began developing, Merrill was able to again make significant contributions.
Merrill has served on the college's Natural Sciences Executive committee and later was deeply involved with the Women's Concerns committee; she has taught courses in Women's Studies and was instrumental in hiring faculty to head the Women's Studies program.
At the beginning of the 2000-2001 academic year, Kathy Merrill took over the reins as chair of the department. There was no rest to be had as the year included two tenure track hirings, two shorter term hirings, and the decision to move the mathematics department to a proposed new science building.