Professor of Mathematics
Department Chair Fall 2014-Spring 2018
Director, Skidmore Honors Forum Fall 2007-Spring 2011
Professor Vella teaches mathematics courses for the department. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1983. His mathematical interests include algebra, algebraic geometry, Lie algebras and combinatorics. He has published a number of papers in these areas, among them a book on algebraic groups in the Memoirs of the American Mathematical Society series. He has co-authored papers with students as well - a paper on combinatorics with Julia Varbalow '92, and a paper on nilpotent orbits with Madeleine Burkhart ‘15. Prof. Vella teaches a wide variety of courses for the department, ranging from his Scribner Seminar Serious Games: Conflict, Voting and Power, to MA 376 Senior Seminar, in which he recently taught the combinatorics of generating functions. In addition to his teaching, Prof. Vella serves the department and the mathematical community in a number of ways. He leads the team of students who compete in the annual nationwide Putnam mathematical competition; he helped get the Skidmore Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon installed on campus, and he is one of the organizers of the very successful Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, which brings together mathematics students from all over the Northeast.