Dr. Laurence Boxer

Dr. Laurence Boxer


Office Location:
Dunleavy Hall, Room 118


Dr. Boxer has taught computer programming, computer applications, and mathematics at Niagara and other universities. He was chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences from 1992 to 2004. Many students have recognized Dr. Boxer's contribution to their success in professional life and in post-graduate studies.

In 1993, Dr. Boxer was recognized by the College of Arts and Sciences for excellence in research.

Educational Background

BS in Mathematics with Honors, University of Michigan, 1970
AM in Mathematics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1971
PhD in Mathematics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1976
MS in Computer Science, University at Buffalo, 1987

Focus of Teaching

Programming languages, algorithms and data structures, applications software

Current research interests

I have two major areas of interest, both of which fall under the mathematical theory of computing.

One area is the theory of algorithms, which involves finding solutions to programming problems and studying the computing resources (time and memory) required by these solutions. I am particularly interested in algorithms for parallel computers. Several of my recent papers are concerned with algorithms for coarse-grained parallel computers (roughly, a coarse-grained parallel computer is one whose number of processors is restricted to being small enough that a medium-sized organization might afford to purchase the machine).

Other areas in which I have done algorithms research include computational geometry, image processing, and string pattern matching. I am co-author of a highly praised textbook on algorithms.

A second area of interest is the emerging field of digital topology. A digital image is stored in computer memory as a collection of discrete dots (like grainy old newspaper photos), rather than as a "continuous body." Therefore, computing and recognizing geometric and topological properties of a digital image, consistent with the geometric and topological properties of the real-world continuous body modeled by the image (perhaps the simplest interesting property is connectedness), requires mathematical theory - digital topology - with a foundation very different from those of Euclidean geometry and Euclidean topology. Several of my recent papers are concerned with adapting computation of the "fundamental group" - a classical topic of algebraic topology - to digital images.

Service Activities

  • Reviewer for many scholarly journals
  • Member of NU's Academic Appeal Board
  • Temple Beth Tzedek of Amherst, NY: webmaster; chair of Ritual Committee; member of other committees
  • Participant in LYCA - Lewiston-Youngtown Clergy Association