Ph.D. Louisiana State University (2005)
M.S. Louisiana State University (2002)
B.S. Mount Mercy College (2000)

Research Interests: data science, math modeling, topology (knot theory), geometry

I have been a mathematics professor at Simpson College since 2005 and I have served as the chair of the mathematics department for the last two years.  I have taught a wide variety of courses in many formats and completed numerous research projects with students on different topics.

My graduate research was in the field of geometric topology.  Much of my research involved knot theory, which is the study of circles embedded in 3-dimensional space.  The circles are called knots because they resemble a shoelace that has been tangled and then its ends tied together.  Below there is a diagram of a link, which is a bunch of knots that have been intertwined.  The related fields of geometry and topology are interesting to me because of their beautiful structures and visual nature.

Over the past few years I have become increasingly interested in the interdisciplinary field of data science.  I think of data science as the study of the extraction of knowledge from data.  Data science lies at the intersection of math/statistics, computer science, and some other field, with the data to be analyzed generally coming from the other field.  The Venn diagram below illustrates this interplay.  I have worked on several data science projects with students on topics such as sports analytics, stock market predictions, and chemical sensors.

My colleague Prof. Heidi Berger and I direct the Midwest Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium (MUMS), a regional mathematics conference held annually at Simpson College.  The symposium is funded by the National Science Foundation through a grant from the Mathematical Association of America.

I am currently serving as the New Faculty Orientation Coordinator at Simpson College.  The purpose of the year-round program is to provide support and faculty development for new faculty members from the time they are hired through their second year as a professor.

While not on campus, I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and watching movies.  I also cheer on my favorite sports teams: the Green Bay Packers, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Fighting Tigers of LSU.

My office is located in the Carver Science Center on the Simpson College campus.  The next time you visit, stop by and introduce yourself!

29aug03b by Rob Scharein (2006)


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