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Robert Schneider

Woodruff Graduate Fellow
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Emory University


E-mail: robert.schneider@emory.edu

Office: MSC W431

Office hours: By appointment (summer)

Curriculum Vitae: Download CV (short version) here


I am a fourth-year graduate student at Emory University working under the supervision of Ken Ono.

My research interests lie primarily in number theory and combinatorics, in particular the theory of integer partitions, special functions in the orbit of modular forms (q-series, basic hypergeometric series, mock theta functions, quantum modular forms), and analytic number theory (prime distribution, Riemann zeta function and other L-functions). My mathematical heroes are Euler and Ramanujan, and in the modern day George Andrews (and my awesome advisor Ken).

I completed my BS in Mathematics (2012) with departmental honors at the University of Kentucky. I am also a pop musician (lead singer of The Apples in stereo), composer, indie record producer/engineer (Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control, Minders, Beulah, Cornelius, Yoko Ono, et al.), sound sculpture artist, and co-founder of The Elephant 6 Recording Co., a musical collective.

I have active interests in physics (special relativity, string theory, gravitation, acoustics, statistical mechanics), history of mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, poetry, electronics, visual and conceptual art, and experimental music.

Among a number of nerdy side projects, I have invented a "non-Pythagorean" musical scale based on logarithms, invented and composed for a mind-controlled synthesizer (the Teletron) using a circuit-bent Mattel MindFlex toy, composed a score based on prime numbers "Reverie in Prime Time Signatures" for a play by number theorist Andrew Granville, scored the Sieve of Eratosthenes (an ancient Greek method for finding prime numbers) for church bells, and designed a board game based on abstract algebra Al-Jabar with fellow University of Kentucky student Cyrus Hettle (download game rules here).


1). A non-Pythagorean musical scale based on logarithms. Proceedings of Bridges: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture Conference (June, 2012).

2). Uncovering Ramanujan's "lost" notebook: an oral history. Ramanujan Journal (December, 2012).

3). A "strange" vector-valued quantum modular form (co-author Larry Rolen). Archiv der Mathematik (July, 2013).

4). A golden product identity for e. Mathematics Magazine (April, 2014).

5). A golden connection (short expository article). Mathematics Magazine (April, 2014).

6). Combinatorial applications of Moebius inversion (co-author Marie Jameson). Proceedings of the AMS (September, 2014).

7). Encounter with the infinite (co-author Benjamin Phelan). The Believer (January/February, 2015).

8). Partition zeta functions. Research in Number Theory (December, 2016).

9). Arithmetic of partitions and the q-bracket operator. To appear in Proceedings of the AMS.

10). Why Ramanujan Matters (op-ed essay, with co-author Ken Ono). Sloan Science & Film (May 10, 2016).

11). Explorations in the theory of partition zeta functions (with co-authors Ken Ono and Larry Rolen). Submitted for publication.

Recent Talks

March 2014 - Patterns Etched in Sound, TEDx at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

September 2015 - Partition Zeta Functions, Palmetto Number Theory Series (PANTS) XXIV, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

October 2015 - Partition Zeta Functions, Combinatorics seminar, Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania

December 2015 - Partition Zeta Functions, SASTRA University, Kumbakonam, India

March 2016 - Arithmetic of Partitions, AMS Southeast Sectional Meeting, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

March 2016 - Arithmetic of Partitions, International Conference on Number Theory in Honor of Krishna Alladi for His 60th Birthday, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida


"...The lecturer should lay his hands on the plough, the loom, the forge, the workshop, the mine, the sea, the stars, all things on earth or under heaven which may help to arouse the attention or interest the imagination." - J. J. Sylvester

I have had the privilege of teaching Math 111 - Calculus I at Emory from Fall 2013 through Spring 2016 (syllabus from my Spring 2016 class here). I do not currently have a teaching assignment, as I am working on my PhD thesis.