Homepage of Laura Smithies

Kent State University

Department of
Mathematical Sciences

Laura Smithies
Associate Professor
of Mathematics

Phone : (330) 672-9027
e-mail : lsmithie@kent.edu
Departmental Fax :
(330) 672-2209
Department Phone : (330)672-2430
"Runty" (son)


Teaching Resources

Research Interests

Community Outreach

A brief curriculum vita is available for download in PDF format.

I came to Kent State University in 1997, after I received my Ph.D. at the University of Utah, under the direction of Joseph L. Taylor. In my dissertation and early post-doctoral research, I used various tools from functional analysis to study geometric representations of Lie group representations. Other early research interests at KSU involved applications of functional analysis to perturbation theory and approximation theory. My current research interests are applications of functional analysis to numerical methods in linear algebra.
I've always enjoyed teaching very much and I particularly appreciate student participation in class and/or office hours. In addition to teaching and publishing math research, I served for many years as a Faculty Associate for the First Year Experience program, which is run by KSU Residential Living.. I also serve as the departmental community outreach coordinator, specializing in high school recruitment and freshman retention.

Fall 2014 Teaching Schedule

from the Homepage of Laura Smithies
Hasen "Pfeffer" Smithies (dad)

This semester I am teaching Explorations in Modern Math (Math 11008-003) and Discrete Math (Math 31012-001). Both classes meet on Mondays and Wednesdays. The Explorations class meets 7:45 AM - 9:00 AM (Smith 111) and the Discrete Math class meets from 9:15 to 10:30 (MSB 109). In general, this semester I will be on campus Mondays and Wednesdays. I will be in or around my office most of the time from about 10:30 AM until to 12:00 PM, but you can also arrange to meet with me by emailing me at lsmithie@kent.edu. My office is in the Mathematical Sciences Building (MSB 204, 2-9027).

"Whitey" and "Runty" (mom and son)

Fall 2014 Classes

from the Homepage of Laura Smithies

Fall 2014
Explorations in Math
Times: M W 7:45 - 9:00 AM
Place: Smith 111
Fall 2014
Discrete Mathematics
Times: M W 9:15 - 10:30 AM
Place: MSB 109
Math Office Hours
Place: Math. Sciences Bldg.
Room: MSB 204 (2-9027)
Time: M W 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Also: Appt. as needed


If the above hours do not work for you, I'd be happy to meet with you at some other time. Just let me know your schedule and we'll find a time. Also, notice that I am in our classroom early and late. This is another good time to ask questions.

Explorations in Modern Math
  • Explorations Sylabus Math 11008 Syllabus
  • Academic Dishonesty (condensed) Policies
  • Learning Outcomes 11008 Learning Outcomes

  • MyMathLabPlus Login Instructions MMLP login info
  • MyMathLabPlus Temp Access Code MMLP Temp Access
  • MyMathLabPlus link to site MMLP Site

  • Counting Pages from our textbook Ch 1 pages and Ch 15 pages
  • Sample Counting Problems from MMLP Questions and Answers

  • Review for Test One (Wed. Sept 24) Test Review
  • Practice Test One Questions and Answers

  • Test Two Wed Oct 29th Fairness sheet, Practice Test, Solutions Prac Test

  • Test Three Monday Nov 24th Test 3 review and Practice Test, Solns
  • Explorations - Final Exam - Monday Dec. 8th 7:45 - 10:00 AM Final review and Practice Test, Solns
    TEST 1 and TEST 1 Solns
    TEST 2 and TEST 2 Solns
    TEST 3 and TEST 3 Solns
    Discrete Math
  • Discrete Math Sylabus Math 31011 Syllabus
  • Academic Dishonesty (condensed) Policies
  • Learning Outcomes 31011 Learning Outcomes

  • Discrete Math Homework Math 31011 Homework

  • Disc Test 1 Monday Sept 16 Test 1 Review

  • Disc Test 2 Monday Oct 20 Test 2 Review

  • Disc Test 3 Monday Nov 17 Test 3 Review

  • Discrete - Final Exam - Tuesday Dec.9th 10:15 - 12:30 PM Final Review

    Research Interests

    from the Homepage of Laura Smithies
    baby bunnies
    Whitey and Pfeffer's kids

    My research interest is the study of (linear) operators and operator-valued functions. My current research project is a study of Gershgorin-type sets with Richard S. Varga. This project evolved into a study of nearly normal matrices. Prior to this, I did a project, with Natacha Fontes, which combined the tools of operator theory and approximation theory. Before that, I worked with Jan Kover and Per Enflo on projects involving applications of operator theory to perturbation theory.


  • Laura Smithies, The Structured Distance to Nearly Normal Matrices ETNA Vol. 36 pp. 99-112, 2010

  • Laura Smithies, A note on polar decomposition Gershgorin sets, J. of LAA Vol. 429 Issue 10, ppl 2623-2637, November 2008

  • Natacha Fontes, Janice Kover, Laura Smithies, Richard S. Varga, Singular value decomposition normally estimated Gershgorin Sets, ETNA 256 August 2007.

  • Laura Smithies, Richard S. Varga, Singular Value Decomposition Gershgorin Sets, J. of LAA 417 (2005), 370-380.

  • Alfred S. Cavaretta, Laura Smithies, Lipschitz-type bounds for the map A -> |A| on L(H), J. of LAA 336 (2003), 15-20.

  • Laura Smithies, Finite rank operator valued functions, J. of LAA 336 (2001), 21-27.

  • Per Enflo, Jan Kover, Laura Smithies, Denseness for Norm Attaining Operator Valued Functions, J. of LAA 336 (2001), 15-20.

  • P. Enflo, Laura Smithies, Harnack's Theorem for Harmonic Operator Valued Functions, J. of LAA 336 (2001),21-27.

  • Laura Smithies, J.L. Taylor, An Analytic Riemann-Hilbert Correspondence for Semi-simple Lie Groups, AMS J. of Representation Theory 4 (2000), 398-445.

  • Laura Smithies, Equivariant Analytic Localization of Group Representations, Memoirs of AMS. 153 No. 728. (Sept. 2001).

  • Ph.D. Advisees:
  • Janice Kover (Directed with Per Enflo)
    Dissertation: Perturbations of Norm Attaining Operators.
    Ph.D. awarded in August 2001.
  • Natacha Fontes (Directed with Alfred S. Cavaretta)
    Dissertation: Multi-dimensional Polynomial Inequalities.
    Ph.D. awarded in August 2004.

  • Pfeffer and Runty
    "Pfeffer and Runty"

    Community Outreach

    from the Homepage of Laura Smithies

    I am the Outreach Coordinator for the KSU department of Mathematical Sciences. I serve as a liaison between our department and the community. I am especially interested in matters pertaining to KSU freshmen and high school students. I routinely represent our department at events directed at these groups. For example, Academic Discovery Days, College of Arts and Sciences, and KSU Residential Living Events.
    I also organize our department's annual High School Math Scholarship Contest. Awards range from $100 book scholarships to $4,000 in tuition waivers for KSU. Please contact me, if you have any questions about these or similar programs.
    Over the years, I've set up volunteer tutoring programs at local schools such as Rauch Intermediate and Brown Elementary. Many of these volunteer tutors are members of the KSU organization "Frasority". I am the faculty adviser for this service club which was formed by First Year Experience students.
    Last year, I started a Bunny Outreach program. The special education students at Roosevelt High School are growing herbs for my bunnies at a local community garden. I bring my bunnies into their class, and to the garden and teach them about bunny care and feeding. This year I will give several talks to a local math club for gifted students (at Stanton). Please contact me, if you would like me to work with your gifted (or struggling) math students.
    For the last five years, I have been a coach or assistant coach in basketball and soccer in the All Star Training Club. This is an athletic organization for mentally or physically challenged people. I am also a trainer for Special Olympics athletes in soccer and track.

    Last modified: Mon Aug 25 10:52:31 EDT 2014