Congressional Fellow Profile
James Ricci is a mathematician with a background in number theory, namely in the areas of quadratic forms and cryptography. He is an Assistant Professor at Daemen College in Buffalo, NY where he teaches a variety of mathematics, computer science, and introductory classes for the college. He holds a B.A. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Vassar College and a Ph.D. In Mathematics from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. At Daemen, James teamed up with the Natural Sciences department to address the retention issues of educationally disadvantaged and first generation students interested in pursuing a STEM major. He helped create a team taught multidisciplinary introductory freshman course aimed to help spark interest in STEM for students whose minimal mathematics backgrounds did not support their chosen majors. He also used a similar approach to redesign Daemen’s introductory Computer Science course to be accessible and engaging for a wider audience by incorporating readings and discussions on such topics as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, cryptocurrencies, and net neutrality. Outside of the classroom, James has gotten involved in the governance and policy at Daemen by being elected to the college faculty senate, the Educational Policy Committee, and as an organizer of non-tenured faculty meetings. James is interested in higher education policy, science communication, and improving the accessibility and quality of STEM education while remaining committed to the liberal arts. In his spare time, James enjoys movies, hiking, and curling where he serves as a member of the board of directors for the Buffalo Curling Club.
Policy Interests: STEM Education, Teacher education, Higher Education policy, Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and Redistricting.
Area of Specialization: Number Theory - Quadratic Forms, Cryptography Computer Science and Mathematics Education