Professor Vella teaches mathematics courses for the department. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. His mathematical interests include algebra, algebraic geometry, and combinatorics. He has published a number of papers in these areas, among them a book on algebraic groups in the Memoirs of the American Mathematical Society series, and a paper on combinatorics jointly authored with Julia Varbalow '92. Prof. Vella teaches a wide variety of courses for the department, ranging from MA102 Mathematical Models in the Social and Management Sciences, his Scribner Seminar Serious Games: Conflict, Voting and Power, to MA 376 Senior Seminar, in which he recently taught Algebraic Geometry. In addition to his teaching, Prof. Vella serves the department and the mathematical community in a number of ways. He directs a student problem-solving group, leading to participation in the nationwide Putnam mathematical competition; he participates in the Capital Region Algebra and Number Theory Seminar; and he is one of the primary organizers of the very successful Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, which brings together mathematics students from all over the Northeast. The most recent conference was held at Skidmore on April 16, 2011.