Jesse Leo Kass

Department of Mathematics  
University of South Carolina  
1523 Greene Street  
Columbia, South Carolina 29208  

Office: LeConte 317J  
Fax: 803-777-7520 
Email: kassj **at**

Curriculum Vitae

I am an associate professor at the University of South Carolina. I work in algebraic geometry. My current work focuses on abelian varieties, compactified Jacobians, moduli of sheaves and counting curves arithmetically.

I was a mentor for the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program (formerly the African American Professors Program). I recommend the program. My mentee said it "helped immensely"

Candace Bethea and Paula Vazquez founded a local chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics. Check out their activities here.

During college, I worked at the Ross Mathematics Program for several summers. The program is a six week long residential program for high school students. It is an excellent experience for talented students interested in mathematics.

Research Papers

Research projects sponsored by the National Security Agency under Grant Number H98230-15-1-0264, the Simons Foundation under Award Number 429929, and the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 2001565. The United States Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints of the projects sponsored by the NSA notwithstanding any copyright notation herein.

Desegregation and Mathematics

One of the first African American students who desegregated the University of South Carolina in 1963 was mathematics graduate student James L. Solomon. You can find more information about him here: James L. Solomon Archive.


I keep a blog Blind Math with a Math Degree. The blog primarily records my thoughts and ideas about the racial desegregation of higher education, especially the role played by mathematicians. The blog started as a place to record thought about James Solomon that did not make it into my article.


Course website is here.

If you are an undergraduate thinking of asking me for a letter of recommendation, please read Keith Conrad’s page.

Interesting in having me sit on your thesis committee? I require a draft of your thesis 45 days in advance of your defense.

Students who have attended my classes have gone to have successful careers in law, medicine, science, and professional football.

When I was a graduate student, I had the honor of being a course assistant for the 7th most ridiculous-sounding math class offered at a liberal-arts college. The movie trailer for the class can be found here.


Frank Thorne and I are assisting Marcus Neal and Patrick Rybarczyk at Hammond school in running the Columbia Math Circle. The Math Circle is a weekend math program for middle school and high schools students interested in exploring math outside of school. If you are a South Carolina teenager or a mathematician interested in working with teenagers, I encourage you to participate. Some details about the program are in this old announcement email.


Interested in working with me? Check out the advice pages of Jordan Ellenberg, Kiran Kedlaya, Bjorn Poonen, Hal Schenk, and David Zureick-Brown.

Current University of South Carolina graduate students are advised to read this FAQ about graduation requirements.


Video Lectures

Events Organized

Letters to the Editor

Expository Notes

Me in Hannover next to the gravestone of Raphael Levi.

Me in front of display of James Solomon Commemoration

Me next to an announcement of the James Solomon Commemoration.

Dad with drums

My dad Richard 'doc' Kass was the drummer in the (Original) Primetime Blues Band. (Photo from Richard Kass.)