Diane Hoffoss, PhD

Diane Hoffoss
Phone: (619) 260-7781
Fax: 619-260-4293
Office: Serra Hall 147

Associate Professor, Mathematics

  • Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara; Mathematics
  • M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara; Mathematics
  • B.S., Virginia Tech, Mathematics

Diane Hoffoss, PhD, has been a member of the faculty  since 2001, where she teaches all levels of mathematics.  Her research interests are in the areas of 3-manifold topology, foliations, and hyperbolic geometry.  In addition to her teaching and research activity, she is responsible for authoring and maintaining the Mathematics Placement Exam software system.  Also, each year Hoffoss advises teams of students who participate in COMAP’s International Mathematical Contest in Modeling.

Scholarly Work

Hoffoss’s research interests are 3-manifold topology, foliations, and hyperbolic geometry.  She has published a paper entitled “Suspension Flows are Quasigeodesic” in the prestigious Journal of Differential Geometry, and is currently finishing a paper with colleague Joseph Maher which compares Scharlemann and Thompson’s topological definition of the width of a manifold with Gromov’s more geometric definition of width.  Hoffoss has given talks on her research in the United States, Australia, China, and Japan. 

Hoffoss has also worked as a Summer Faculty Fellow at NASA JPL, where she worked on problems involving optimizing the scheduling of communication between the Mars rovers, Mars orbiters, and the 3 Deep Space Network communication stations on Earth.

Areas of Interest

Hoffoss has taught a variety of courses at USD, including Investigations in Modern Mathematics, Calculus II and III, Logic for Mathematics and Computer Science, Applied Mathematics for Engineering I, Linear and Abstract Algebra, Real and Complex Analysis, Geometry, and Topology, and Assembly Language Programming.

In all of her courses, Hoffoss involves her students actively in their own learning by encouraging meaningful classroom participation, leading students to  participate in the development of new ideas being presented, and reserving class time for students to work through problems under the professor’s supervision before facing their homework alone.