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Joseph F. MacDonnell, S.J.

Professor of Mathematics at Fairfield University

4 May 1929 - 14 June 2005 RIP

. . . Some persons

1 The MacDonnell-group
2 The MacDonnell Jesuit-group
3 An extended MacDonnell-group
4 The N. E. Jesuit Province-group
5 The Bellarmine Jesuit-group
6 The Fairfield Jesuit-group
7 The Baghdad Jesuit-group
8 The Baghdad basketball-group
9 Clavius mathematician-group
10 The F. U. Kostka RA/RJ-group
11 A Deacon retreat-group
12 An F. U. graduate-group

. . . some places

1 Adam's tree in the Garden of Eden
2 The ancient city of Jerusalem
3 Baghdad College on the Tigris
4 King Faisal to BC on the Tigris
5 Institut des Hautes Etudes in France
6 La place de la Concorde in Paris
7 Institute for Advanced Studies
8 Fairfield University's quadrangle
9 '63 view of the F. U. campus
10 '91 view of the F. U. Chapel
11 '91 view of the F. U. campus

. . . and some things

1 Baghdad is a city of minarets
2 The pyramids in Egypt
3 The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
4 A Chartres Cathedral window
5 F. U. official seal before 1970
6 F. U. Mass of the Holy Spirit
7 F. U. Mass for RAs and RJs
8 A fascinating theorem
9 A fascinating ruled surface
10 A fascinating equation


Before coming to Fairfield in 1969, Joseph MacDonnell, S.J. spent eight years in Baghdad teaching physics and mathematics at the two Jesuit schools: Baghdad College and Al Hikma University. As physics teacher on Al-Hikma's first faculty he authored both the Thermodynamics and Mechanics Laboratory Manuals. At Baghdad College he directed an extensive Ignatian retreat program, and in 1957 he produced Iraq's first television science program: an hour-long demonstration of physics experiments. Later he coached a championship basketball team where he introduced a "new type of defense", referred to on the sports pages as "al man-to-man defense". (which in fact was invented by Dr. Naithsmith in 1891). Up to this time the only known defence in Iraq was "al zone".

Since the 1968 Baathi takeover of the two Jesuit schools and expulsion of all Jesuits from Iraq in 1969 he has been teaching mathematics at Fairfield University where he was appointed full professor by the faculty in 1985, was voted "Teacher of Year" by the students in 1986 and awarded the Distinguished Faculty award by the graduates in 1995. He published other books including Jesuit Geometers, Jesuits by the Tigris, Companions of Jesuits, If These Stones could Speak, Jesuit Family Album and other books about the campus. He has also published 18 articles, two of which were translated into French and Spanish.

His masters degrees in Philosophy and in Theology are from Boston College; his masters degree in Mathematics is from Fordham and his doctorate in the teaching of mathematics is from Colombia University. Each summer he spends five weeks with the Clavius Mathematical Research Group at exotic places like the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton (IAS), the Institute for Advanced Studies in France (IHES), and at universities such as Berkeley, Boston College, Fairfield University, and Notre Dame.

The Clavius Group at IAS in 1994Fairfield Jesuit Community in 1996 comm



Recent Articles:
  1. "A Ruled Moebius Bank Which Self-Intersects in a Straight Line." - American Mathematical Monthly, 91 (1984): 125-127.
  2. "The Mathematics of Three Straight Line Constructions." - Journal of the International Society LEONARDO, 17 (1984): 104-107.
  3. "Ruled Moebius Surface Enclosed in a Cylinder." - International Journal of Mathematical Education, 17 (1986): 179-183.
  4. "Using Sinh and Cosh to Solve the Cubic." - International Journal of Mathematical Education, 18 (1987): 111-118.
  5. "What Pre-Calculus Skills do Students Retain." - International Journal of Mathematical Education, 20 (1989): 174-177.
  6. "Some Critical Points of the Hypergeometric Function nx." - International Journal of Mathematical Education, 20 (1989): 297-305.
  7. "A helpful family of curves to introduce polar coordinates." - International Journal of Mathematical Education, 21 (1990): 328-333.
  8. "In Support of the Iraqi People." - Bridgeport Post 12/15/90
  9. "Recalling EL Salvador." - Bridgeport Post 11/17/91
  10. "A Window on God's Grandeur: three Jesuit Scientists." - Compass, 1993: 28-29.
  11. "If Ignatius were alive today, he would be on the World Wide Web" - National Jesuit News, November, 1995: 9.

Recent Papers Presented

  1. "Derivation of formulas for Ruled Surfaces." - Institut des Hautes études Scientifiques, Paris, 7/6/78
  2. "Poincare Metric." Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, Princeton, NJ, 7/9/79 -
  3. "Calculus of Variations: Hamilton Lagrangian Equations." Notre Dame, 7/23/80
  4. "A Ruled Moebius Surface Self-Intersects in a Straight Line."- American Mathematical Society, San Francisco, CA, 1/7/81
  5. "Twist Surfaces." Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, Paris, 7/21/82
  6. "The Geometric Motivation for the Hyperbolic Functions in the Opusculum of V. Riccati." Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, Princeton, NJ - 7/19/84
  7. "Riccati's Use of Analogous Logarithms." American Mathematical Society, Anaheim, CA l/9/85
  8. "The Infinite Moebius Band." University of Hartford, CT 4/19/85
  9. "A Class of ruled Surfaces of Rational Order." Clavius Research Group, Notre Dame, 7/17/85
  10. "Double Points of a Curve." Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society Induction address, Fairfield University, 2/23/86
  11. "Some Singularities of a Polar Curve." American Mathematical Society, New Orleans, LA 1/9/86
  12. "Self-intersections of some rational ruled surfaces."International Congress of Mathematics meeting Berkeley, CA 8/5/86
  13. "Jesuit Geometers in the 17th and 18th centuries." Institut des Hautes études Scientifiques, Paris, 7/27/87
  14. "Girolamo Saccheri's Non-Euclidean Geometry." Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, 7/27/89
  15. "A Mathematica Approach to Ruled Surfaces." Clavius Research Group, Boston College 7/15/93
  16. "Qualitative Properties Found in the Solutions of Dynamical Systems." Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, 7/15/94
  17. "The Influence of Jesuit Colleges on the Arts and Sciences" St. Peter's College Pi MU Epsilon Induction Jersey City, N.J. 4/26/95
  18. "Mathematica solutions of p/q-twist surfaces" University of Notre Dame, ND Indiana, 7/24/95
  19. "Two Jesuit Contributions to geometry in China." Conference:
  20. "História das Ciencias Matemáticas" at Centro de Matemática da Universidade de Lisboa, 11/4/95
  21. "Jesuit education has a history of multiculturalism." Conference: Diversity at Fairfield University, 2/2/96
  22. "A Converging Sequence of Hyperpowers." Clavius Research Group, Boston College 7/17/96
  23. "Saccheri's flaw while eliminating Euclid's flaw." Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, Paris, 7/23/97
  24. "Geodesics of various surfaces." Clavius Research Group, Fairfield University, 7/14/98

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