Marion D. Cohen

Adjunct Professor, Graduate and Undergraduate Studies

1 (215) 572-2871

About Me

My math Ph.D. is from Wesleyan U., in Middletown Conn. I've taught (mostly adjunct) at Temple U., Widener U., University of the Sciences, Drexel U., Univ. of PA, and of course Arcadia U, among others. I'm also a writer, with 23 books and one forthcoming. I write poetry and memoir. My latest poetry collection is Lights i Have Loved (Red Dashboard Press, NJ, 2014). My memoirs are Still the End: Memoir of a Nursing Home Wife (Unlimited Publishing, IN, 2013) and its prequel Dirty Details: The Days and Nights of a Well Spouse (Temple U. Press, PA, 1996). I'm also the author of a collection of poetry about the experience of mathematics; the title is Crossing the Equal Sign (Plain View Press, TX, 2007). At Arcadia I've taught Calc I and II, Mathematical Concepts, Differential Equations, and History of Mathematics -- as well as the university seminar Truth and Beauty: Mathematics in Literature (US215). I'm active in the community of "math poets", presenting and publishing in math-poetry venues, writing reviews of mathematics books and texts, and publishing a small amount of "actual math". Last month (Jan. 2015) my article, "The Case of the Missing Speedometer: The First Day of Calculus" appeared in The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics. In June of 2015 my review of "Mathematicians on Creativity" will appear in The American Mathematical Monthly. In July 2015 I will be presenting at Bridges Math/Art Conference (Towson, MD). Family-wise: I have four grown children and five grands (including one-year-old twins, one of each gender!). My life partner, Jon, is a Japanese-to-English translator with a Ph.D. in philosophy. Other interests besides math: writing, and family: classical piano, singing, Scrabble, thrift-shopping

Areas Of Focus

what math-ideas come to me; I'm not a problem solver; hopefully I'm a theory creator!

Roselle, New Jersey

Home Country


Research Summary

Math occupies a "non-traditional" place in my life. My publications are largely literary (and include about 35 reviews of math books, but also 24 poetry collections, memoirs, as well as poetry, fiction, and essays in literary journals; much of my literary output is inspired by math). However, my first passion is math and I do what seems to be creative work in that field. I've published a handful of "actual math" articles, at least one recently (and one submitted). My "life's work" in math, beginning age around 15, is a generalization of none other than arithmetic (the same arithmetic that many kids learn before kindergarten; I'm not talking here about Peano's axioms). I'm fascinated by iteration (and multiplication is the iteration of addition, exponentiation the iteration of multiplication), and also by the phenomenon of associativity and commutativity. I've been trying to characterize those operations on the positive integers which are associative and whose iterations are also associative. (There are others besides addition.) I have a lot of results, but I'm looking for more! I gave a couple of talks about this work and now feel I have enough results to publish some of it; that paper is currently submitted to a journal (in which I've published before). My Ph.D. dissertation was titled "Pseudo Order-Type Maps" and involved an abstract concept which I defined and studied. It was inspired by a theorem from Laurent Schwartz's theory of distributions, and in fact Laurent Schwartz wound up being my "thesis advisor in absentia" (because no one at my school felt qualified to judge and approve it). I've since worked in graph theory (without knowing that was what I was working on... and that work inspired my poetry collection, "Crossing the Equal Sign", about the experience of mathematics), as well as a few isolated ideas.