Geoffrey D. Dietz

Associate Professor, Mathematics Department
Chairperson, Mathematics Department
Phone: 814-871-7595
Office: Z 408

  • Biography
  • Courses Taught
  • Educational History
  • Professional Experience
  • Professional Societies
  • Publications
  • Scholarship/Research
  • Service


I grew up in Dayton, Ohio and attended Catholic elementary school, high school, and college. I have always liked mathematics and was completely hooked when I was shown a one-sided Mobius strip in the second grade. After graduating from the University of Dayton, I went to Ann Arbor, Michigan to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Michigan (although I remained a Buckeye fan). After a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Oklahoma (still a Buckeye fan), I moved to Erie to join the Mathematics Department at Gannon in 2006. While my graduate training was in algebra, I have now taken an additional interest in financial mathematics which led me to create our concentration in actuarial science.

I am married and have six children. My wife also graduated from the University of Dayton and earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Michigan. She has now chosen to devote her life to a full-time career raising and home-schooling our children.

Courses Taught

  • Fundamentals of Mathematics 1 (Math 105)
  • College Algebra (Math 111)
  • Trigonometry (Math 112)
  • Calculus 1 (Math 140)
  • Calculus 2 (Math 141)
  • Applied Statistics (Math 213)
  • Geometry (Math 226)
  • Calculus 3 (Math 242)
  • Calculus 4 (Math 243)
  • Linear Algebra (Math 252)
  • History of Mathematics (Math 260)
  • Mathematical Analysis 1 (Math 301)
  • Differential Equations 1 (Math 304)
  • Abstract Algbera 1 (Math 309)
  • Abstract Algebra 2 / Number Theory (Math 310)
  • Financial Mathematics 1 (Math 331)
  • Financial Mathematics 2 (Math 332)

Educational History

  • University of Dayton, B.S. in Mathematics (minors in computer science, economics, and physics), 2000.
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Ph.D. in Mathematics, Closure Operations in Positive Characteristic and Big Cohen-Macaulay Algebras, 2005.

Professional Experience

  • Chair, Mathematics Department, Gannon Unviersity, Erie, Pennsylvania. (2012-present)
  • Associate Professor, Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania. (2011-present)
  • Assistant Professor, Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania. (2006-2011)
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma. (2005-2006)

Professional Societies

  • American Mathematical Society
  • Mathematical Association of America


  • G. Dietz, "Axiomatic Closure Operations, Phantom Extensions, and Solidity," in review.
  • M. Ganger, G. Dietz, and S. Ewing, "A common base method for analysis of qPCR data and the application of simple blocking in qPCR experiments," in review
  • G. Dietz and Rebecca R.G., "Big Cohen-Macaulay and Seed Algebras in Equal Characteristic Zero Via Ultraproducts," to appear in Journal of Commutative Algebra.
  • G. Dietz, "A Trouble-some Simulation," The Mathematics of Various Entertaining Subjects: Research in Recreational Mathematics, Volume II. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017.
  • G. Dietz, "What is So Negative About Negative Exponents?" Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, 4 (2014), No. 1, 124-135.
  • G. Dietz, MINITAB Manual for Discovering the Fundamentals of Statistics, 2nd Edition. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2014.
  • G. Dietz, MINITAB Manual for Discovering Statistics, 2nd Edition. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2013.
  • G. Dietz, "A Characterization of Closure Operations That Induce Big Cohen-Macaulay Modules," Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society, 138 (2010), No. 11, 3849-3862.
  • G. Dietz, MINITAB Manual for Discovering Statistics: Brief Version. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2010.
  • G. Dietz, MINITAB Manual for Discovering Statistics. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2010.
  • G. Dietz, "Big Cohen-Macaulay Algebras and Seeds," Transactions of the American Mathematical Society, 359 (2007), No. 12, 5959-5989.
  • G. Dietz, "Tight Closure of Finite Length Modules in Graded Rings," Journal of Algebra, 306 (2006), No. 2, 520-534.
  • G. Dietz, R. Higginbottom, and D. Stephenson, "Quantum Projective 3-Spaces Which Embed Weighted Quantum Planes," Rocky Mountain Journal of Mathematics, 35 (2005), No. 2, 415-444.
  • G. Dietz and D. Dobbs, "Limiting Values of the Variance and the Moments of the Dimension of a Sum or Intersection of Random Vector Subspaces," Applied Mathematics Letters, 15 (2002), 945-953.


My research interests lie in the field of commutative algebra, specifically tight closure theory, characteristic p methods, and big Cohen-Macaulay algebras and modules.

I study generalized number systems (called “rings”) that behave like the integers or real numbers in many ways but can also behave quite differently. Such systems arise when one studies solutions to systems of equations. I am particularly interested in rings where a fixed number (usually prime) is set equal to 0. (Imagine how 24 = 0 in a 24-hour clock.) Rings also possess geometric information, just as the solutions to y=x^2 can be thought of as a parabola in the plane. Moving back and forth between the algebra and geometry involved can often help one understand both areas better.

I have also written on the history of how algebra (specifically, the negative exponent) has been taught in high school in the United States.


  • MCHPS Rank & Tenure Committee (2014-2016)
  • MCHPS Program Review Committee (2013-2014)
  • University Budget Committee (2015-2016)
  • University Compensation Committee (2011-2014)
  • University Strategic Planning Committe (2012-2013)
  • MCHPS College Academic A ffairs Committee (2008-2012)
  • Faculty Senate (2009-2012)
  • Student Conduct Committee (2007-2010)
  • Reviewer for MathSciNet of the American Mathematical Society (2005-present)
  • Past referee for Journal of Algebra, PRIMUS, and Acta Mathematica Universitatis Comenianae.