Simpson Colloquium 101
Today we live in a challenging world with diverse people and institutions whose behaviors aggregate to produce unique and unexpected outcomes. How do we attempt to make sense of it all? Mathematical models are an important tool that can help us become more intelligent citizens of the world. They can help us become better decision makers and adopt more effective strategies. They can even improve the design of institutions and procedures. In this class, I will introduce students to the modeling process and a starter kit of interesting models we will analyze. This course is for students who are very comfortable with basic algebra and wish to learn how to make better sense of the complex world around us.
Meet Your Professor
Rick Spellerberg, Ph.D.
Professor of Mathematics
I have now been at Simpson College for over 20 years teaching mathematics and have enjoyed every minute of it. I derive most of my pleasure from the accomplishments of our current and former students and having the opportunity to work with my great colleagues in the department. I have enjoyed working with students both in and out of the classroom setting. One of the activites outside the classroom involves the mentoring of students in undergraduate research. I have introduced many students over the past few years to Game Theory models and their applications to evolution and decision making. Right now my main focus is looking at game theory models that provide insight into the evolution of human cooperation. It will take a great deal of human cooperation to solve many of the complex global challenges facing the world moving forward.
Outside of Simpson College I enjoy following my favorite professional sports teams the Vikings in the fall and the Cubs during the summer. I also am very passionate about upland game hunting spending a great deal of time chasing the rooster pheasant in the winter and fall and old tom turkey in the spring. Over the years I have shared my passion for these pursuits with many of my students. These experiences have provided me some of my greatest memories.
Meet Your Simpson Colloquium Leader
Hello incoming first years! My name is Nick Yaeger and I will be leading the class Modeling: A Lens for the Mindnext year with Dr. Spellerberg. I will be a sophomore this fall. I am working toward a double major in mathematics and Biology. I am also a distance runner here for our track and cross country teams. Additionally, last year I was a senator for SGA (Student Government Association).
I am from the grand old town of Boone it is about an hour away from here. Even though it is so close I never go home because I have too much fun here! I love to play card games such as cribbage and euchre. My favorite food at Pfifer is anything that includes chicken nuggets. I look forward to meeting you all this fall!
Meet Your Writing Fellow
My name is Taylor Besser and I’m going to be a sophomore next fall at Simpson. I was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and love being an out-of-state student! I’m an Economics and Mathematics double major and planning to attend graduate school to study Behavioral Economics.
I’m involved in a lot here at Simpson: I’m a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, the Student Alumni Association, and Enactus. I’m also an ambassador in the Admissions office and a Wesley Service Scholar.
When I’m not busy with classes and extra-curricular activities I love to read, skype my cats, and listen to NPR.