Paul Becker, Ph.D.

Paul Becker
Department Chair, Mathematics
Associate Professor, Mathematics
Office Phone
Office Location
85 Benson

Mailing Address:
PENN STATE BEHREND
1 PRISCHAK BUILDING
ERIE PA 16563
    Biography

    Paul Becker received B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics from Michigan State University. After several years of teaching at Saginaw Valley State University (Saginaw MI), and some study in Germany, he completed a Ph.D. at Central Michigan University. He is currently an associate professor of mathematics at Beherend College, where he teaches abstract algebra, combinatorics, and related topics.

    His hobbies include operating a small blueberry farm and kayaking the Great Lakes. His favorite quote is from his 4-year-old son Logan: “Daddy, you’re wrong, and Mommy can tell you why.”


    Teaching Specialties

    • Combinatorics
    • Algebra and Number Theory

    Research Interests

    Paul’s research applies ideas from a variety of fields (including combinatorics, ring theory, number theory, and linear algebra) to digital communication and error-correcting codes. Aspects of his research are accessible to undergraduates, and he has published several papers with student co-authors.

     

    Research Interests

    Error-correcting codes; Combinatorial designs; Sporadic groups; History of mathematics; Group representations.

    Publications

    Matrix representations as a gateway to group theory, Primus - July 1, 2021
    Collaborator: Mark Medwid, Co-Author

    Build a Sporadic Group in Your Basement, American Mathematical Monthly - April, 2017
    Collaborators: Jennifer Ulrich, Secondary Author; Sheridan Houghten, Secondary Author; Martin Derka, Secondary Author

    A Methodology for Constructing the Basis of a Putative (72, 36, 16) Extremal Code for a Given Automorphism Group, Congressus Numerantium - October, 2012
    Collaborators: M. Derka, Co-Author; S. Houghten, Co-Author

    A Search for Solvable Weighing Matrices, Journal of Combinatorial Math and Combinatorial Computing - August, 2007
    Collaborators: S. Houghten; W. Haas

    On Menon-Hadamard difference sets in groups of order 4p2, Congressus Numerantium 172 - December, 2005
    Collaborators: J. Mendes; O. AbuGhneim; K. Smith

    Do Normal Subgroups Have Straight Tails?, American Mathematical Monthly - May, 2005

    Investigation of Solvable (120, 35, 10) Different Sets, Journal of Combinatorial Designs - February, 2005

    Investigation of Perfect Ternary Arrays PTA(60,25), Ontario Technical Report -- # CS - 03 - 10 Department of Computer Science - October, 2003
    Collaborators: S. Houghten; W. Haas

    Investigation of Non-Abelian Difference Sets in Groups of Order 120 - May, 2000

    Education

    Ph D, Mathematics, Central Michigan University

    Summer school for advanced graduate students, Discrete Mathematics, Technische Universitat Braunschweig

    NATO Advanced Studies Institute, Algebraic Combinatorics

    MS, Mathematics, Michigan State University

    BS, Mathematics, Michigan State University