About UAlberta's Augustana Campus


William (Bill) Hackborn, Ph D, M Sc, B Math

Professor / Mathematics & Computing Science

Augustana Campus



Prof. Hackborn's research interests include applied mathematics (especially fluid dynamics), chaos theory (the study of the surprising patterns and apparent randomness present in some basic processes of the natural world), the history of mechanics (part of the history of physics and mathematics), and projectile motion (including ballistics and the somewhat dark roles both mathematics and computing science have played in the birth and development of this black art). Most recently, he has also been doing research on social networks, both in a practical way (via a survey of the connections between U Alberta professors) and, more theoretically, using differential equations to approximate social networks that capture some of the ways in which human communities adopt ideas and build consensus.


Brief Teaching Philosophy

The most important ingredient in learning computing science and mathematics (like music) is practice, practice, practice!  So, Prof. Hackborn likes to give students lots of opportunities for practicing their course work both during class and afterwards in a variety of ways, including group activities and individual assignments.  He also likes to impress upon his students the utility and beauty of mathematics and computing, and the important roles they have played in the development of the modern world, because students cannot be expected to learn a subject unless and until they see why it is worth learning (and the passion it excites in its disciples).

Courses Taught since Fall 2003

  • AUCSC 110  Introduction to Computing Science  (Fall 2003)
  • AUCSC 120  Abstraction, Design and Object-Oriented Programming  (Winter 2009)
  • AUCSC 210  Algorithm Analysis and Data Structures  (Fall 2012)
  • AUCSC 315  Theory of Computing  (Winter 2013, cross listed with AUMAT 355)
  • AUCSC 340  Numerical Methods  (Fall 2003, cross-listed with AUMAT 340 & AUPHY 340)
  • AUCSC 330  Database Management Systems I  (Winter 2018)
  • AUCSC 430  Database Management Systems II  (Fall 2004)
  • AUIDS 211  Interdisciplinary Science Projects (Winter 2019)
  • AUMAT 110  Elementary Calculus I  (Fall 2018)
  • AUMAT 116  Elementary Calculus I, Enriched  (Fall 2015)
  • AUMAT 112  Elementary Calculus II  (Winter 2018)
  • AUMAT 212  Intermediate Calculus II  (Winter 2016)
  • AUMAT 229  Introduction to Group Theory  (Winter 2015)
  • AUMAT 260  Topics in Geometry  (Fall 2007)
  • AUMAT 315  Complex Variables  (Winter 2019)
  • AUMAT 332  Mathematical Ecology and Dynamical Systems  (Fall 2014)
  • AUMAT 480  History of Mathematics and Physics  (Fall 2015)