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 2015 Teaching Schedule

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

This semester I am teaching Explorations in Modern Math (Math 11008-002) and Calculus I (Math 12002-004). The Explorations class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:45- 9:00 AM in MSB Room 319 (Math Emporium). The Calculus class meets Tues, Weds and Thurs from 11:00 - 12:25 AM in MSB Room 106. In general, this semester I will be on campus Tuesdays through Thursday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I will be in or around my office most of the time from about 9:00 - 11:00 AM. Then I go to teach Calculus and will be back around my office about 12:30 PM. On Wednesdays, I will be in or around my office from 10:00 - 11:00 AM. Generally, if nobody has contacted me asking to meet with me, I leave shortly after 12:30PM. But I am free to stay until much later. So, if you would like to meet with me just let me know before or after class or by email at lsmithie@kent.edu. My office is in the Mathematical Sciences Building (MSB 204, 2-9027).

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

Fall 2015 Classes

from the Homepage of Laura Smithies

Fall 2015
Explorations in Math
Times: T R 7:45 - 9:00 AM
Place: MSB 319
Spring 2015
Calculus I
Times: T W R 11:00 AM - 12:25 PM
Place: MSB 106
Math Office Hours
Place: Math. Sciences Bldg.
Room: MSB 204 (2-9027)
Time: T R 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM, W 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
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
  • MyMathLabPlus TestGen Plugins Windows and Mac

  • Voting Fairness Criteria Handout
  • Voting Test 1 Review
  • Voting Voting Summary
  • Voting Practice Counting Test
  • Voting Practice Voting Test
  • Voting Practice Voting Test Soln
  • Voting Quiz 5
  • Voting Quiz 5 Soln
  • Weighted Voting Review
  • Weighted Voting Prac. Test & Ans
  • Weighted Voting MMLP Qzs & Answers
  • Weighted Voting MMLP HW & Answers

  • Test 3 is Tuesday December 1st
  • Counting Methods handout
  • Test 3 Review
  • Test 3 Practice Test
  • ClassNotes Counting Review
  • ClassNotes Probability Review

  • Explorations - Final Exam - Monday Dec 14th 7:45 - 10:00 AM
    Calculus I
  • Calculus I Sylabus Math 12002 Syllabus
  • Academic Dishonesty (condensed) Policies
  • Learning Outcomes 21001 Learning Outcomes
  • Homework Math 12002 HW
  • Free Tutoring! Academic Success Center

  • Test 1 Thurs Sept 24 Review
  • Test 1 Thurs Sept 24 Practice Test Page 1
  • Test 1 Thurs Sept 24 Practice Test Page 2
  • Test 1 Thurs Sept 24 Prac. Test Solns

  • Implicit Differentiation Problems Solutions
  • Graphing Problems Solutions
  • Related Rates Problems Solutions
  • Optimization Problems Solutions

  • Test 2 Thurs Oct 15 Review
  • Practice Test 2 and Solns
  • Calc Test 2 Solns
  • Test 2 Extra Credit
  • Problems and Solutions

  • Test 3 Thurs Nov 5th Review
  • Practice Prac Test 3a and Solns
  • Practice Prac Test 3b and Solns

  • Test 3 Extra Credit - Due 11/12
  • Problems and Solutions

  • Quiz 12 - Due Wed Dec 2nd Take Home

  • Test 4 Thurs Dec 3 Test 4 Review
  • Prac Test 4 Prac Test 4 Solns
  • Calculus - Final Exam - Monday Dec 14th 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: Wed Sep 2 10:09:51 EDT 2015