College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of Math & Actuarial Science

News and Upcoming Events

April is mathematics awareness month (MAM). The theme for 2014 is Mathematics, Magic, & Mystery. The MAM organization is also celebrating the centennial birth year of Martin Gardner.  There are 30 days of theme related activities as well as essays and other things located at

Mathematics & Actuarial Science Colloquium Speakers

James Humphrey, FSA, MAAA, One America Financial Partners, Inc.

"Monte Carlo: Real World Benefits & Challenges for Actuarial Models".
As the title suggests, the presentation will discuss the use of Monte Carlo models in real world actuarial applications. Most actuarial models in practice are deterministic. Use of a Monte Carlo approach is fairly limited; such models are generally employed for risk analyses, such as assessing the distribution of outcomes over a one year time horizon. While those applications are fitting, Monte Carlo models can also be used in place of traditional deterministic models. In this presentation, we will walk through basic examples of deterministic actuarial models, discuss their usage, and identify certain shortcomings. We will then explore how a Monte Carlo model can overcome such limitations. The story of Monte Carlo models is not entirely rosy, though. Hence, we will also discuss some of the challenges they face in the real world.

Please join us Friday, April 18, 2014 at 4:00 pm in Jordan Hall Room 236.  Refreshments will be provided.

Butler Senior Seminar Students
Monday, April 28 at 3:30 p.m. in Jordan Hall Room 242

Join us as our Senior Seminar students present on a variety of mathematical concepts that they have studied during their time in the course this spring.

Undergraduate Research Conference April 11, 2014

Aaron Schlenker presented the results of his research at the URC on April 11, 2014. A mathematics and computer science major, Aaron's research was titled Generalized Mandelbrot Sets and Their Algorithms.


Schlenker April 2014

Aaron Schlenker's presentation at the Undergraduate
Research Conference on April 11, 2014











Previous Mathematics & Actuarial Science Colloquium  Speakers

Butler University Senior Actuarial Science Majors
Friday, January 31 at 2:30 p.m. in Jordan Hall Room 236

Senior actuarial science majors described how they landed awesome summer internships, as well as what those internships had them work on.  This was the third annual internship colloquium and is always one of the favorites of our actuarial science majors.

Dr. Scott Chapman,editor of the American Mathematical Monthly
Wednesday, October 23rd
The American Mathematical Monthly is the mostly widely read math journal in the world, and Dr. Chapman is a renowned mathematician, a professor, and Scholar in Residence at Sam Houston State University. He specializes in modern algebra.

Amanda Harsy Ramsey, PhD student at IUPUI and newest adjust faculty member of the Mathematics and Actuarial Science Department at Butler University
Friday, November 15th
What if we could take a pumpkin, cut it up into finitely many pieces, and then reassemble the pieces so that we get two pumpkins identical to our first pumpkin?  We could make a lot of pumpkin pie.  In this talk, we will introduce and explore properties of Free Groups which have this counter-intuitive property.  Free groups are one of the most commonly used groups in Geometric Group Theory, an exciting, relative new area of mathematical research in which we treat groups like geometric objects. In particular, we will discuss the relationship of free groups to The Banach Tarski paradox, amenability, and Yu's Property A.

J. James Woods Lectures in the Sciences and Mathematics
Dr. Carl  Pomerance spoke on "What We Still Don't Know About Addition and Multiplication" on Tuesday, December 3.

How could there be something we don't know about arithmetic? It would seem that subject was sewn up in the third grade. But here's an answer we don't have: What is the most efficient method for multiplication? Another: How many different numbers appear in a large multiplication table? Come hear about many more of these types of problems, plus some recent progress.

Pomerance, a number theorist, specializes in analytic, combinatorial, and computational number theory, with applications in the field of cryptology.

Butler Senior Seminar Students spoke on Friday, December 13th, presenting a variety of mathematical concepts.

The Department Fall Picnic 2014

The department hosted the annual student/faculty picnic for all majors at Professor Duane Leatherman's residence in Resco "D" Unit.  A large group of students and faculty met for a delicious dinner, great conversation, and fun outside Prof. Leatherman's front door between   Photos are available at Prof. Leatherman's website  

MAA Scavenger Hunt 2014

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 teamwss 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 ( or Professor Kathie Freed(mailto:kfreed@butler.ed