Our New Faculty Members
The department welcomes Philip Mummert, Ph.D,
as our new tenure-track professor. Dr. Mummert earned his
Ph.D. from Purdue University and previously taught at Taylor
University. His specialty is discrete dynamics.
Dr. Mummert attended a conference in Gyeongju, Korea from Aug
23-26, which brought together over 60 research mathematicians
(ranging from graduate students to acknowledged experts in the
field) to discuss topics in holomorphic dynamics in one and several
complex variables. Dr. Mummert presented a poster entitled "A Path
Lifting Algorithm for the Julia Set of a Complex Henon Map."
For more information about the conference check out the website at
The department also welcomes Brandon Neese, Ph.D., a Visiting
Assistant Professor. for the fall semester 2014. Dr. Neese
earned his M.A. from the University of Southern California and his
Ph.D. from Indiana University.
Celebration of the Mind in honor of Martin Gardner's 100th
Please join the department for the celebration of Martin
Gardner's 100th birthday (born October 21, 1914). The event will
take place on October 21, 2014 in Jordan Hall 238
from 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Dr. Judi Morrel's honor class will present magic tricks, and
Professor Jeremiah P. Farrell will contribute to this fun event
which is a world-wide celebration. Martin Gardner was highly
respected for his contributions to the world of mathematics and
science through his many Scientific American articles
about puzzles, tricks, and other astounding mathematical ideas.
He wrote many books which are still enjoyed today!
Please join us for a birthday cake and fun!
Special Colloquium Presentation
Allan Rossman, Ph. D., will present "Choosing the Best:
Decision Making under Uncertainty"
Friday, October 31, 2014, 2:00-3:00 pm, Jordan Hall 238.
Dr. Rossman will present a classic probability problem known as
the "Secretary Problem" which illustrates the utility of
probabilistic thinking when making decisions under
uncertainty. The problem is easy to state: Your task is to
hire a new employee for your company. You know how many
candidates have applied, you interview them one-at-a-time in random
order, and you can rank the candidates after you have interviewed
them. But the rules are that you have to decide immediately
whether or not to hire a candidate (i.e., you can't invite one back
later), and you must hire THE best candidate (i.e., if you hire the
second best one, you have failed). We will devise a clever
strategy for choosing the best candidate and will explore how
(surprisingly) well the strategy performs with both small and large
numbers of candidates. We will also consider a gambling
application and ponder whether the optimal strategy is relevant to
finding your soul-mate in life!
Allan Rossman is Professor and Chair of the Statistics
Department at Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo and previously taught in
the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Dickinson
College. His Ph.D. is in Statistics, from Carnegie Mellon
University. He is co-author with Beth Chance of the Workshop
Statistics series and Investigating Statistical Concepts,
Applications, and Methods, both of which adopt an active learning
approach to learning introductory statistics. He was Program
Chair for the 2007 Joint Statistical Meetings and President of the
International Association for Statistical Education from
2007-2009. He served as Chief Reader for the Advanced
Placement program in Statistics from 2009 - 2014. He is a
Fellow of the American Statistical Association and was one of the
recipients of the Mathematical Association of America's Haimo Award
for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics in
Please join the department as we welcome Dr. Rossman to
Butler for this amazing talk! Refreshments will be
s & Actuarial Science Colloquium Speakers
Tiffany Kolba, Ph.D., Valparaiso University
Friday, October 24th, 2014
Jordan Hall 236
Tiffany received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from Duke University
in 2012. Her research interests are in probability theory and
more specifically, stochastic differential equations Tiffany
is currently an Assistant Professor of mathematics at Valparaiso
University in Northwest Indiana.
Jim Kunce, Senior Vice President & Chief Actuary for
Friday, November 7, 2014
Assessing risk in today's dynamic healthcare environment is a
tall order. Ensuring MedPro charges each insured a fair premium
based on their own risk profile is paramount to our mission. Mr.
Kunce, in collaborates with the experienced MedPro Actuarial team
which continually strives to apply and refine the latest
statistical and predictive modeling techniques to create an
accurate and fair price for each unique practice or facility.
Mr. Kunce, a 1994 University of Kansas graduate in Physics and
Astronomy, is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuary Society and a member
of the American Academy of Actuaries. He is responsible for all
aspects of Medical Protective's actuarial functions including
pricing, ratemaking, reserving and system implementation.
James J. Woods guest speaker
"From the Mendelian Gene to the Dynamic
Monday, Nov. 10, 2014 - 7:30 p.m., Reilly
Almost fifty years ago, Cambridge University Press published the
correspondence of Isaac Newton, a seven-volume, 3000-page
collection of letters that provide insight into this great, if
difficult, genius. Dunham will share his favorite examples of
Newton as correspondent. From his earliest known letter in
1661 (where he scolded a friend for being drunk), through exchanges
with Leibniz, Locke, and others, to documents from his days at the
Mint in London, these writings give glimpses of Newton at his best
… and his worst. He will end by discussing Newton's
most-quoted line about standing on the shoulders of giants and
describe how his search for its place of origin led him,
improbably, to a library in Philadelphia.
William Dunham, a historian of mathematics, is retired after 22
years as the Koehler Professor of Mathematics at Muhlenberg
College. As a visiting professor at Harvard University, he
taught a semester course on the mathematics of Leonhard Euler at
Harvard University in both 2008 and 2013, and he also held a
visiting appointment at Princeton University in the spring of 2014.
He is currently a visit at the University of Pennsylvania and
serves as the MAA's George Pólya Lecturer.
Previous 2014/2015 Colloquium Speakers
Dr. Bridget Tenner, De Paul Universit
"Non-Messing-Up: A Surprising Sorting Result"
Friday, September 12, 2014, 3:00 pm in JH 236,
Dr. Tenner discussed a sorting phenomenon for data in a
rectangular array, called the "non-messing-up" property.
Consider a collection of distinct numbers arranged in a
rectangle. The non-messing-up property says that if you put
the numbers of each row into increasing order, and then do the same
thing to the (possibly new) numbers of each column, then the
"possibly new" numbers in each row will still be in increasing
order. In other words, the "increasing order" feature of the
rows doesn't get messed up, even though the values in the rows may
change! We will explore what it means to generalize this
property and will look at some of these generalizations in
Jeremy Walthall, Butler University, CLAS Internship and
"Show the World You are Awesome: Market Your Math &
Actuarial Science Skills"
Friday, September 9, 2014, Jordan Hall Room 236, 3:00
Jeremy Walthall gave tips on presenting yourself well in job
interviews, getting great internships,
and formulating a CV and cover letter that will make you stand
out! Students learned how to look like a Mathematics and
Actuarial Science ROCK STAR! This invaluable colloquium was
suited for all students from freshmen to seniors.
It's never too early to start planning for your future!
MAA Scavenger Hunt
The MAA student chapter hosted its annual scavenger hunt for
high school teams on March 1, 2014. The event concludes at
approximately 12:30-1:00 p.m. after prizes are awarded. Lunch was
included for all attendees.
The event was an exciting morning with high school teams
competing for prizes as they hunted for the solutions to
mathematical problems. Each team was led by a Butler student
member of the Mathematical Association of America club. For
more information concerning the 2015 MAA Scavenger Hunt, please
contact Rena Duerksen (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) or
Professor Kathie Freed(mailto:email@example.com
The Department Fall Picnic 2014
The department hosted the annual student/faculty picnic for
all mathematics and actuarial science majors at Professor Duane
Leatherman's residence in Resco "D" Unit on Thursday, September 11,