Robert F. Scheyder
I am a student in the Mathematics Department
at the University of Pennsylvania. We are located in Philadelphia,
This is my official university website. I am an adult student,
which is a rarity in the undergraduate mathematics classes.
While it poses no problems for me, I think sometimes that
the younger students wonder what I am doing! What I am doing
is enjoying myself while learning mathematics from some of
the most eminent professionals in the field. This website
describes my work and activities at Penn.
I am interested in Complexity Theory in general. Complexity
Theory forms the basis that describes how phenomena seemingly
unrelated, such as weather patterns and planetary orbits,
obey the same laws of Nature. The field is immense! For
this reason alone, I am drawn to this area of inquiry.
I have been fortunate to participate in projects that span
the academic spectrum. I am always looking for new ways
to apply what I have learnt and am still learning, and
the cross fertilization across specific disciplines has
Recent Academic Activities
I have been involved with many projects in addition
to my formal course work. These projects include the following:
Solar Neutrino Detector
I worked with Professor Ken Lande of the Penn Physics
designed and built a prototype neutrino detector . Subsequent
testing using an artificial (non-solar) neutrino
source confirmed proof of concept. I incorporated
many new design elements into my detector. I wrote
a comprehensive paper that described both the theoretical
aspects and experimental results of my prototype detector.
Under the direction of Professor Ken Lande I
wrote a theoretical paper. The central problem of solar
neutrino research is explaining why the number
of solar neutrinos observed experimentally is approximately
half of the amount predicted theoretically. Part
of the explanation relies upon the predicted phenomenon
of neutrino oscillation. In order for this to occur
however, neutrinos are assumed to have mass greater than
zero. I provided an account of the theoretical framework that
provides for neutrino mass existence.
I am currently working with Dr. Janet Monge
of the Penn Anthropology Department. The primary literature
seems to indicate that Homo neanderthalis did not interbreed
with Homo sapiens. This conclusion is based upon results
obtained from conducting PCR tests on Neanderthal mtDNA.
This conclusion, however, I feel is in error. I am using
chaos theory and other mathematics as well as the Computer
Algebra System called Mathematica® to investigate the
claim for non-interbreeding.
Nassau Research Grant (1999)
College Alumni Society Undergraduate
Research Grant (2004)
Wolfram Research Math Mentor (2005)
UIUC NetMath Mentor (2005)