# Mathematical Sciences Faculty & Staff

## Department Chair

For more information, please see my website:

## Faculty & Staff

Jenny Cox is a Lecturer in the Mathematical Sciences Department at Butler University. She has a passion for teaching students mathematics, working as a mathematics teacher at both the high school and collegiate levels for 19 years. Prior to joining the Butler faculty, Jenny was a mathematics teacher at Herron High School and then University High School. She has also worked in both the Mathematics and Mathematics Education departments at Indiana University.

Jenny received her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University of Southern Indiana in 2005, her Masters of Arts in Mathematics from Indiana University in 2007, and Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction – Mathematics Education at Indiana University in 2022. Her current research is focused on reducing mathematics anxiety and inclusive inquiry practices. Her research interests also include equitable practices surrounding high-stakes assessments and supporting girls in STEM.

Jenny lives in Franklin with her husband Ryan and three children. When she is not teaching mathematics, she enjoys running, reading at all hours, and cheering on her children in their various sporting events.

**Awards**

- Neatrour-McGlasson Fellowship, Indiana University
- Faculty Fellowship, Indiana University
- Inaugural Audrey Lupton Community Award, University High School
- Rothrock Teaching Award for Associate Instructors, Indiana University

** Publications **

• Cox, J. & Ataide Pinheiro, W. (January 2024). Advancing

equitable and responsible research involving gender and sexuality within

mathematics education. The Educational Forum.

• Cox, J., Kaschner, S., & Krohn, M. (2024). An Intervention to Support Students

Placed Below Introductory Coursework. PRIMUS, 1-17.

doi.org/10.1080/10511970.2023.2289408

• Cox, J. (2022). Compliance, competitiveness, and confidence: Investigating patterns in mathematics anxiety using a nuanced view of gender. [Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University]. doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.28147.60963

• Burch, L., Tillema, E., Cox, J., Yavuz, S., & Sianturi, I. (2021). Productive

mathematical meanings as a guide to analyzing algebra textbooks. In Olanoff,

D., Johnson, K., & Spitzer, S.M. (Eds). In Productive Struggle: Persevering

Through Challenges: Proceedings of the 43rd Meeting of the North American

Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Philadelphia. http://www.pmena.org/pmenaproceedings/PMENA 43 2021 Proceedings.pdf

• Cox, J. & Jacobson, E. (2020). Mathematics anxiety as a mediator for gender

differences in 2012 PISA mathematics scores. In Sacristán, A. & Cortés, J.,

(Eds.). Mathematics Education Across Cultures: Proceedings of the 42nd Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, México. doi.org/10.51272/pmena.42.2020

• Cox, J. (2019). A focus on factoring: Taking the difficulty out of Algebra students’ least favorite topic. Indiana Mathematics Teacher, Indiana Council of Teachers

of Mathematics (ICTM), 18-21.

**Presentations **

• Cox, J. & Enk, C. (2024, February 20). Equitable Adjustments to Indiana Department of Education Accountability Scores: Which Schools Truly Scored an A? Hoosier Association of Science Teachers Incorporated and Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics (HASTI-ICTM) Conference. Indianapolis, Indiana.

• Ataide Pinheiro, W., Cox, J., Phelps, R., Cherry Shive, E., Cruz, J. (2024, July

7-14). Towards justice in mathematics education regarding gender and sexuality.

[Paper Presentation]. 15th International Congress on Mathematics Education,

Sydney, Australia.

• Childers, G., Ataide Pinheiro, W., Cox, J., Lynn, R. (2024, July 7-14). A quantitative examination of 2SLGBTQIA+ US students’ mathematical experiences in high school. [Paper Presentation]. 15th International Congress on Mathematics Education, Sydney, Australia.

• Cox, J. (2023, February 14). Compliance, Competitiveness, and Confidence: Investigating Gendered Patterns in Mathematics Anxiety. Hoosier Association of Science Teachers Incorporated and Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics (HASTI-ICTM) Conference. Indianapolis, Indiana.

• Cox, J. (2022, November 3). Gendered Patterns in Mathematics Anxiety and Ongoing Mathematics Education Research. Invited Presentation for Butler’s ICTM/NCTM chapter. Indianapolis, Indiana.

• Cox, J. (2021, September 25). Increasing the Cognitive Demand of Questions to Support Student Success on the SAT and ACT. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) National Conference. [conference canceled]

• Cox, J. (2021, April 23). Flying Birds and Ferris Wheels: Precalculus Activities for Conceptual Understanding. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) National Conference. [Recorded presentation after in-person conference was

canceled]

• Cox, J. (2020, April 28 & May 6). My Summer SAT Study: Common Misconceptions and Misgivings from our Students [Webinar].

• Cox, J. (2020, April). Key connections between mathematics curriculum and the SAT. Presentation. Presentation at the Centennial National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) National Conference, Chicago, Illinois. [Conference canceled]

• Cox, J. (2020, March 16, 18, & 20). Engaging mathematics students at a level of

high cognitive demand, even in E-Learning environments [Three-part webinar

series]. ICTM Members Helping Members. The Indiana Council of Teachers of

Mathematics.

• Cox, J. (2020, March 6). Rigorous work in the best courses: The use of the SAT as a graduation requirement and implications for underserved students. Presentation at the Indiana Mathematics Educators Research Symposium (IMERS), Indianapolis, Indiana.

• Cox, J. (2019, October 29). Building connections and breaking down rules in the Precalculus classroom. Presentation at the Indiana Council of Teachers of

Mathematics (ICTM) Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana.

• Cox, J. (2019, March 1). Queries in quadratic equations: Historical and curricular developments. Presentation at the Curriculum and Instruction Research and Creative Activities Symposium (CIRCAS), Bloomington, Indiana.

• Cox, J. (2019, February 15). Queries in quadratic equations: Historical and curricular developments. Presentation at the Indiana Mathematics Education Research Symposium (IMERS), Indianapolis, Indiana.

• Cox, J. (2017, November 10). Educational games and activities for the mathematics classroom. Presentation at the Independent School Association of the Central States (ISACS) Conference, Chicago, Illinois.

**Memberships and Affiliations**

- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
- Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics
- Hoosier Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators

Professor Freed received her B.A. and M.S. from Butler University. She spent the first 34 years of her career teaching high school mathematics, most recently at Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana. She began teaching at Butler in 2010 and as a full time instructor specializes in teaching undergraduate courses including Calculus I, II and III, Precalculus, and Business Calculus.

B.S., Mth., Creighton University, 2011

Ph.D., Iowa State University, 2016

#### Education

B.A. in Mathematics at St. Olaf College 1992

M.S. in Mathematics at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1995

Ph.D. in Mathematics at North Carolina State University 1999 *Finite Dimensional Nilpotent Lie Algebras with Isomorphic Maximal Subalgebras.* Advisor: Dr. E.L. Stitzinger

#### Teaching Experience

Butler University 2006-present

IUPUI at satellite campus in Carmel 2002-2006

NC State as a T.A. 1998-1999

Louisburg College in Louisburg, NC 1995-1998

UNC Chapel Hill as a T.A. 1993-1995

**Dr. Rasitha Jayesekere** is the* Director of Statistics and Actuarial Science *and an *Associate Professor* in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. In addition, she coordniates the Data Science minor interdisciplinary program, and the student travel coordinator of the department, faculty sponsor for Butler’s student chapter of Mu-Sigma-Rho National Statistics Honour Society and Indiana Beta chapter of Keppa-Mu-Epsilon Mathematics Honour Society.

Dr. Jayesekere’s main research interests are statistics, data mining, operations research, statistics education and community based learning in statistics. She enjoys connecting with different fields through interdisciplinary collaborations. Dr. Jayesekere teaches courses in Statistics, Actuarial Science, and Data Science at Butler. In addition, provides statistical consultancy for faculty and students on campus.

Dr. Jayesekere is a recipient of the *Faculty All-Star Recognition Award in 2021 *for her service to the university including her contribution to developing Statistics major, Data Science minor, and the Master of Data Analytics program, co-authoring with faculty colleagues across the university in their research, and statistical consultancy on campus. She is also the recipient of the *College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Outstanding Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2020*.

She earned BSc in Applied Sciences from Rajarata University of Sri Lanka (2004), MSc in Industrial Mathematics from University of Sri Jayewardenepura Sri Lanka (2008), MA in Mathematics from University of Louisville, KY (2011) and PhD in Industrial and Applied Mathematics from University of Louisville, KY (2013).

Prior to Butler Dr. Jayesekere has taught at Centre College (Danville, KY), University of Louisville (KY), Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT – Sri Lanka) and Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. While at APIIT – Sri Lanka, Dr. Jayesekere served as the project manager for Technopreneur Incubation Center which supported undergraduates on starting up tech-entrepreneurships, funded by the World Bank under the project Improving Relevance and Quality of Undergraduate Education (IRQUE).

**Courses taught at Butler:**

Predictive Analytics & Data Mining, Introduction to Data Science, Advanced Statistical Computing, Loss Models, Linear Regression and Time Series (Applied Statistical Methods), Nonparametric Statistics, Multivariate Statistical Methods, Financial Mathematics, Statistical Theory, Elementary Statistics, Pre-Calculus, Business Calculus.

Introduction to Data Mining (graduate course – Master of Science in Data Analytics)

**Publications:**

- Arora, P., Muehrcke, M., Russell, M., & Jayasekare, R. (2022).
*Impact of comparative effectiveness research on Medicare coverage of direct oral anticoagulants.*Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research, 11(15), 1105-1120. https://doi.org/10.2217/cer-2021-0307 - Lynne A. Kvapil, Mark W. Kimpel, Rasitha R. Jayasekare, Kim Shelton,
*Using Gaussian mixture model clustering to explore morphology and standardized production of ceramic vessels: A case study of pottery from Late Bronze Age Greece*, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, (2022), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2022.103543 - Arora, P., Johnson, A., Jayasekare, R.
*et al.**Association between marijuana use and nonmedical prescription opioid use in the United States: are we shifting from one epidemic to another?.*Journal of Public Health Policy (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41271-021-00282-1 - Crawford, Novak, and Jayasekare,
*Volunteerism, Alcohol Beliefs, and First-Year College Students’ Drinking Behaviors: Implications for Prevention,*The journal of Primary Prevention 40.4 (2019): 429-448. - Mellis B, Soto P, Bruce CD, Lacueva G, Wilson AM, Jayasekare R (2018)
*Factors affecting the number and type of student research products for chemistry and physics students at primarily undergraduate institutions: A case study*. PLoSONE 13(4): e0196338. - Jayasekare RR, Gill R, Lee, K.
*Modeling Discrete Stock Price Changes using a Mixture of Poisson Distributions*, Journal of the Korean Statistical Society, (2016) 45.3, 409-421

**Grants Experience:**

- Collaborator in the NSF grant for “Nonlinear Biochemistry of Transcriptional Activation Domains”, applied by Alex Erkine of College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences– Butler University, funded with $711,000 from 2019-2022.
- Faculty Associate in the NSF grant on “Cultivating Scientific Literacy and Action through Place: Using a Campus Farm as an Interdisciplinary Learning Hub” submitted by Julia Angstmann of Center for Urban Ecology & Sustainability – Butler University, funded with $296,377 from 2016-2019.
- Project Manager of “Tehnopreneur Incubation Center” (TIC) at Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT) – Sri Lanka. TIC is a project under Improving Relevance and Quality of Undergraduate Education, funded by the World Bank. (2007-2009).

Dr. Jayesekere is the current Convener of Isolated Statisticians , member of the Professional Development Committee of Justic Equity Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI), and volunteer at Statistics Without Borders .

“Dr. J.” has taught mathematics to undergraduates for more than 35 years. He also served for 17 years in administrative posts ranging from department chair, associate dean, and academic affairs vice president at various institutions. The pinnacle of this work was from June 2011 to January 2018 as chair of Butler University’s Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Actuarial Science, which culminated in the Liberal Arts and Sciences award for outstanding faculty member in service to the College. In this role he led the department into a host of improvements, including a more than doubling in student majors, an addition of a statistics major, and an establishment of a unique summer Mathematics Research Camp (MRC). The MRC is offered to any Butler department major to experience one-on-one research work in mathematics with department faculty members. He has developed and implemented new courses into the undergraduate curriculum at several institutions. They include: Integration Theory, which teaches the Lebesgue Integral to undergraduates; Foundations of Mathematics, which teaches how to prove mathematical theorems, much like an art course might teach how to paint; the FYS course Elementary, my Dear Watson, which looks at characters such as Sherlock Holmes in literature, drama, and film who illustrate the use of deductive and inductive reasoning; and Decision Making, which shows how many different disciplines — such as mathematics, economics, ethics, and English literature — can influence the way people make decisions. His third textbook in mathematics, on the Lebesgue Integral, was published by the highly acclaimed MAA Press in fall 2015. His fourth book, on complex variables, is also published by the MAA Press and is newly available at the AMS Bookstore site https://bookstore.ams.org/cdn-1645193668088/text-71/ . It introduces complex analysis as a natural extension of the calculus of real-valued functions. A complimentary Teacher’s Guide and the full Solutions Manual are available at that website for faculty members’ review and upon adoption.

**Areas of Expertise**

The Theory of Functions; in particular, Lebesgue Integration, Operator Theory, and Complex Functions

**Education/Degrees**

Ph.D. University of Virginia, 1988. B.S. Wake Forest University, 1982

**Select Publications:**

**Books **(* Signifies publication after peer review; ** after editor review)**:**

Johnston, W., *The Calculus of Complex Functions, *MAA Press: An Imprint of the AMS, Washington, DC, 2022. ISBN 978-1-4704-6565-0*

Johnston, W., *The* *Lebesgue Integral for Undergraduates*, MAA Press: An Imprint of the AMS, Washington, DC, 2015. ISBN 978-1-93951-207-9.*

Johnston, W., and McAllister, A., *A Transition to Advanced Mathematics: A Survey Course*, Oxford University Press, New York, 2009. ISBN978-0-19-531076-4.*

4. Johnston, W., *An Introduction to Statistical Inference,* Mohican Publishing Co., February 2001. ISBN 0-923231-40-4.*

5.* *Johnston, W. and Perry, J., *Solution Manual to Accompany *__ An Introduction to Statistical Inference__, Mohican Publishing Co., February 2001. ISBN 0-923231-41-2.**

**Articles **6. Johnston, W., Makdad, C., A Comparison of Norms: Bicomplex Root and Ratio Tests and an Extension Theorem, *The American Mathematical Monthly*, 128:6, 525-533, 2021.*

7. Cowen, C., Johnston, W., Wahl, R., Constructing Invariant Subspaces as Kernels of Commuting Matrices, *Linear Algebra and its Applications*, 583:15, (December 2019): 46-62.*

8. Johnston, W., Webster, J., and Wilson, C., An introductory research experience in mathematics for undergraduates, *PRIMUS*, **27 **4-5, pp. 451-460, 2017.*

9. Johnston, W., The weighted Hermite polynomials form a basis for L2(**R**), *The American Mathematical Monthly*, 121(3),(March 2014):249-253.*

10. Johnston, W. and McAllister, A., A survey transition course, *PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies*, 22:1,(January 2012): 30-42.*

11. Johnston, W., McAllister, A.; Wilson, J., An experiment that worked: revising the calculus curriculum, *Focus*, XXI, No. 8 (November 2001): 8-9.**

12. Johnston, W., Hall, A., Reducing litigation: the mathematics of settling out of court, *PRIMUS*,VIII, No. 1 (March 1998): 93-96.*

13.McMahan, T. and Surrey, M. (student publication) with Johnston, W., A statistical analysis of baseball’s 1987 home run phenomenon, *Pi Mu Epsilon Journal* 10, No. 4 (Spring 1996) 300-304.*

14. Johnston, W. and Wilson, J., Optimization using computer software and algebra, *The Proceedings of the Fifth ICTCM – Technology in Collegiate Mathematics*, Addison-Wesley, Chicago, Illinois (1994): 602-608.***

15. Allen, J. (student publication) with Johnston, W., Winning blackjack strategies, *Undergraduate Journal of Mathematics* 23, No. 2 (September 1991) 31-35.*

16.Johnston, W., A condition for absence of singular spectrum with an application to perturbations of self-adjoint Toeplitz operators, *American Journal of Mathematics*, 113 (1991): 243-267. *

**Fillers **17. Farrell, J. and Johnston, W., A mathematics crossword puzzle: mathematical evolution, *The American Mathematical Monthly*, 124:5 (May 2017): 444-445. DOI: 10.4169/amer.math.monthly.124.5.479*

Dr. Mohammad Shaha A. Patwary is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Actuarial Science at Butler University. Before completing his M.S. degree in Applied Statistics from Minnesota State University, Mankato, Dr. Patwary completed his Bachelor of Science and M.S. degree from the University of Chittagong, Bangladesh. He received his Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Patwary’s research interests focus on but are not limited to inferential statistics, statistical modeling, applied statistics, and P-reduction in big data. Dr. Patwary also likes mentoring students and offering statistical consultation to faculties. He also has a background in collaborative research.

Before joining Butler, he was actively engaged with teaching and research at the University of Texas at Dallas, Minnesota State University-Mankato, University of Chittagong (Bangladesh), Bangladesh University of Professionals, Bangladesh University of Business and Technology.

Since his joining at Butler, Dr. Patwary taught Nonparametric Statistical Methods, Design of Experiments, and Elementary Statistics courses.

I grew up in Salem, Oregon and earned my BS in Mathematics from the University of Oregon. I completed my MS at San Jose State University and earned my Ph.D. in Mathematics from Purdue University in 1997. After three years as an Assistant Professor at University of South Dakota, I came to Butler University in 2000 and have loved being here ever since.

My research area is in Operator Theory and I focus on studying Composition Operators. This very challenging area of research is fun because I get to employ techniques and ideas from Complex Functions, Functional Analysis and Operator Theory. I have led student projects in this area as well as Linear Algebra and welcome all interested students to work with me!

Website: https://blue.butler.edu/~jewebste/

**Chris Wilson **is a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and an Associate of the Society of Actuaries. His research interests include noncommutative algebra and actuarial science pedagogy. He is the author of *Mathematics and Models for Financial Derivatives,** * published by Actex. Dr. Wilson holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and MA and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics, all from Indiana University Bloomington.

## Emeriti Faculty

B.A. University of Texas at Austin

M.A.T. Duke University

Post-graduate courses in physics and statistics

Courses taught at Butler:

AR 210-MA Statistically Speaking

MA 101 College Algebra

MA 103 Elementary Statistics

MA 104 Contemporary Mathematics

MA 125 Business Calculus

MA 107 Calculus 2

MA 162 Statistical Methods

MA 360 Probability Theory

MBA 403 Statistics

I created a new core class AR 210-MA Statistically Speaking for non-mathematics majors who need a math course to fulfill core requirements and have been teaching this for 5 years. Students majoring in the natural and social sciences are often interested in the course for later work required in their major/

My life is Butler (Go Dawgs!), my children and grandchildren, playing golf, volunteering for community work, and reading. I also play the piano at church, but just for fun!

I serve on the board of Family Promise of Greater Indianapolis, a non-profit for homeless children and their families. My major board duty is to organize the Home Sweet Home event each fall, an event which raises approximately $21,000 through the sale of gourmet desserts. Last year we were able to raise over $61,500 that evening.

I am a true Texan who has fallen in love with Butler and living in Indianapolis. I feel like I have won the lottery to work at such a great institution and work with such wonderful faculty and exciting students!