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Math and Actuarial Science Background
Mathematics, Statistics & Actuarial Science

Math Alumni Profiles

Christine Berkesch

Christine BerkeschAssistant Professor at the University of Minnesota

BA in Mathematics, 2004
Ph.D. in Mathematics, 2010, Purdue University

What did you liked about being at Butler?

I enjoyed all of the interaction I was able to have with the faculty. They were very helpful and available to me and challenged me to become a better mathematician.

What did you do after graduation?

I attended Purdue University and received a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 2010.

What are you doing now? Current Employment?

I am now an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota.  I teach and my research involves seeking to identify and exploit combinatorial structure in algebraic geometry, often via a group action on a variety.

Randy Dunham

Randy DunhamService Center Rep

B.S. Mathematics, 2007

What did you like about Butler?

Small class sizes, Easy Access to Professors outside classroom, Great community feeling.

What are you doing now?

TRICARE Service Center Rep for TriWest as my wife is in the military (Missouri).

Eric Nelson

Eric NelsonCertified Financial Planner

B.S. in Mathematics, 2005
Ph.D. in Mathematics, 2012

What did you like about Butler?

The small class sizes in the math department were wonderful.  I actually got to know my professors. They had a great influence on me and where I am today.

What did you do after graduation?

Immediately after graduating from Butler, I became a sailboat captain on Lake Michigan for a year.  I spent this time figuring out what I wanted to do with my life.  I ending up choosing to go to Colorado State University for graduate school in math.

What are you doing now?

I graduated in the spring of 2012 with my Ph.D. in Mathematics from Colorado State University. I worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Hobart & William Smith Colleges from 2012-2015.  I am now a certified financial planner with certification through the CFP Board and Boston University.

Lynette Disch

Lynette DischLinguistics Teacher

BA Mathematics
BA Spanish

What did you like about Butler?

One of my favorite things about Butler was the willingness of faculty and staff to help with any problems I had.  I frequently visited professors outside of class to ask about difficult topics.  They were available and willing to help and I always came away with a greater understanding.  Teri facilitated with making the connections with high schools for the math contest we hosted, connections with people to tutor, and even rides to those sessions.  The math department is definitely a warm environment within the larger Butler community.

What are you doing now?

My time at Butler gave me valuable insight into academic work and research.  The first half of this year, I assisted in teaching graduate level courses in linguistics and will soon head my own course here in Peru, so it was good to have a small community at Butler to introduce me to how higher education works.

My summer of math research at Butler through Butler Summer Institute gave me a great head start in understanding how to do independent research.  I'm still very grateful to Professor Sharma for helping me find a topic that peaked my interest and for guiding me through that process. The math department also funded a trip to the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics so that I could share my research results.  That trip and  my other experiences in the math department at Butler helped me learn to collaborate with my peers and professors on complex problems. 

David Phillips

David PhillipsAssociate Research Professor, University of Notre Dame

Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunitites and Department of Economics

Bachelor's in Math and Economics, 2007
Ph.D. in Economics, 2012

What did you like about Butler?

I appreciated a lot about Butler.  From the math department, I really appreciated the small class sizes that allowed for a lot of interaction with faculty.  Graduate school has required almost all the math I learned at Butler.  I had to pick up a few new math topics on my own or through my graduate program, but I was in a lot better shape than many of my classmates.  A big part of that was the math major at Butler where I feel like I was pushed to do my best because the professors had a lot of interaction with us.  Butler was also a great place where I made many friends I'll have for a long time, and it was a place to decide who I wanted to be and how I wanted to live.  That's as important as anything I got academically.

What did you do after graduation?

After graduating, I moved to Washington, DC to do a Ph.D. in Economics at Georgetown.

What are you doing now?

Currently, I am an Associate Professor of Economics in the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunites at the University of Notre Dame. Prior to Notre Dame, I taught at Hope College in Holland, MI and completed my Ph.D. in Economics from Georgetown Univeristy in Washington, D.C. My research interests include urban geography and poverty, public transit, crime, and housing subsidies.  I study these topics using field experiments and quasi-experimental methods.  


Scott Murphy

Capital Assurance Corporation

BA, Mathematics 2007

What did you like about Butler?

One of the best things about Butler is the feeling that your 1000 miles away from anything.  The "Butler Bubble"!

What did you do after graduation?

After graduation I worked for IPS as an assistant in a special needs class room until I found my current job.

What are you doing now?

I currently work for Capital Assurance Corporation, but not part of Guggenheim Partners, Guggenheim Life and Annuity.