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Math and Actuarial Science Background
Mathematics, Statistics & Actuarial Science

Mathematics, Statistics, and Actuarial Science Department News & Events

2019 Commencement

The department is proud to announce that on Saturday, May 11th, we had over 30 students graduate from our programs.  And, this is the first class to have several students graduate with a Statistics major!  We are so proud of each and every one of our students and wish them all the best as they venture out into the world.  We know you will all do great things!  Below is a picture of several of our students and faculty who celebrated at a reception held by the department after graduation.  Best wishes to you all! 


Joint Mathematics Meeting

The department is extremely proud of our 6 students who attending the Joint Mathematics Meeting held in Baltimore, Maryland during January 2019.  They represented the department extremely well, and several were honored with Excellent commendations for the posters representing their research from Mathematics Research Camp held in August 2018.  

The students include Alex Glickfield, C.J. Koch, Brittany Man, Tori Puhl, Troy Wiegand, and Abigail Wynn.

Dr. Rasitha Jayasekare and Dr. Bill Johnston (both front row) each presented papers on their current research.

Distinguished Service Award

Rena Duerksen—Difference Maker Award, August 2018

Congratulations to our Administrative Specialist on being chosen as one of the Butler Difference Maker Award winners!  The Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Actuarial Science is very proud to have Rena working with all of us.

Goldwater Scholar Announcement

Alex Glickfield—2018 Goldwater Scholar

Congratulations to mathematics and physics major, Alex Glickfield, as he has been named a Goldwater Scholar for the 2018-2019 academic year! The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent undergraduate award of its type in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. To read more about the award, visit Butler's Newsroom

Butler's Top 100 Students for 2018–2019

We are pleased to announce that 5 of our junior and senior mathematics, actuarial science, and statistics majors were honored as one of this year's Top 100 students!   The students honored each year continue the tradition of dedication and service to Butler.  They reflect outstanding character, scholarship, engaged citizenship, leadership, and commitment to fostering diversity.  Congratulations to Rachel Burke, Travis Freytag, CJ Koch, Grace Langford, and Emily Lawson.  To read the full story, visit Butler's Newsroom.

Butler's Top 15 Students for 2018-2019

Congratulations to Travis Freytag and Rachel Burke, both recognized as Top 15 students for the year!  This is a huge accomplishment at Butler, and the department is honored to have two of the fiften among our mathematics, actuarial science, and statistics majors.


Rachel Burke
Mathematics and Software Engineering major

Travis Freytag
Actuarial Science, Statistics and Economics major

Recent Departmental Research

Congratulations to the following professors who have recently published their research:

John Herr

 Herr, John; Palle Jorgensen, Weber, Eric.  (2017) Linear Algebra and its Applications (accepted for future publication)

A Matrix Characterization of Boundary Representations of Positive Matrices in the Hardy Space. Herr, John; Jorgensen, Palle; Weber, Eric. Comtemporary Mathematics. (accepted for future publication)

Positive Matrices in the Hardy Space with Prescribed Boundary Representations via the Kaczmarz Algorithm. Herr, John; Jorgensen, Palle; Weber, Eric. Journal d'Analyse Mathematique. (accepted for future publication)

Fourier Series for Singular Measures, with Eric Weber, 2015.  ArXiver 1503.04856

Singular Measure Reproducing Kernels Within the Hardy Space.  Submitted for publication in a Contemporary Mathematics volume in March 2017.

Karen Holmes

AR212 Win, Lose, or Draw workbook published by Kendall-Hunt in Fall 2013. Second edition Fall 2014 and third edition is currently at the publishers and will be ready for either Summer 2016 or Fall 2016.

Bill Johnston

The Lebesgue Integral for Undergraduates, MAA Press, Washington, DC. ISBN 978-1-93951-207-9*  Published by Mathematical Association of America Textbooks 

Johnston, W., Webster, J., and Wilson, C., An introductory research experience in mathematics for undergraduates, PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies,  00(0): 1–10, 2016. ISSN: 1051-1970 (Print) 1935-4053 (Online).

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

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

Rasitha Jayasekare

Factors affecting the number and type of student research products for chemistry and physics students at primarily undergraduate institutions: A case study.
Mellis B, Soto P, Bruce CD, Lacueva G, Wilson AM, Jayasekare R (2018)

Modeling Discrete Stock Price Changes using a Mixture of Poisson Distributions, Journal of the Korean Statistical Society, 2016, doi:10.1016/j.jkss.2016.01.002.

In preparation – Ryan Gill, Rasitha Jayasekare, Kiseop Lee, Modeling Changes in Gasoline Price.

Scott Kaschner

Superstable manifolds of invariant circles and co-dimension 1 Bottcher functions (with R. Roeder), 2015, Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems, 35(01), 152-175.

Geometric Limits of Julia Sets with Parameters on the Circle (with R. Romero and D. Simmons), International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos, 25(8), 2015.

Rational Maps of CP² with No Invariant Foliation (with R. Perez and R. Roeder), Bulletin de la Société Mathématique de France. Accepted September 2015.

Symmetrization of Rational Maps: Arithmetic Properties and families of Lattès Maps of Pk   (with B. Hutz and T. Gauthier). Submitted to The Michigan Mathematical Journal May 2016.

Logical Misconceptions on True-False Assessments in Early Undergraduate Mathematics (with S. Durst).  Submitted to Problems, Resources, and Issues n Mathematics Undergraduate StudiesJune 2016.

Complex Perspective for the Projective Heat Map Acting on Pentagons. (with R. Roeder), Conformal Geometry and Dynamics of the American Mathematical Society, 21(9), 2017, 247--263.

Amber Russell

L. Rider, A. Russell, Perverse Sheaves on the Nilpotent Cone and Lusztig’s Generalized Springer Correspondence. Proceedings of Symposia in Pure Mathematics, 92 (2016). arXiv:1409.7132

Rebecca (Becky) Wahl

C. Cowen, R. Wahl, Commutants of Finite Blaschke Product Multiplication Operators, Contemporary Mathematics 638, (2015), pp. 99-

C. Cowen, R. Wahl, Shift-Invariant subspaces invariant for composition operators on the Hardy Hilbert space, Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society 142, no. 12 (2014): 4143-4154.

Jonathan Webster

B. Johnston, C. Wilson, and J. Webster An Introductory Research Experience in Mathematics for Undergraduates, accepted to PRIMUS, and available online.

J. Sorenson and J. Webster Strong Pseudoprimes to Twelve Prime Bases, accepted to Mathematics of Computation, available online.

M. Bauer and J. Webster, Computations in Cubic Function Fields of Characteristic Three, Contributions to Discrete Mathematics, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2013.

Chris Wilson

An Introductory Research Experience in Mathematics for Undergraduates. With coauthors, Jonathan Webster and William Johnston. Accepted for publication in Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies; to appear.

Constructing the hereditary crossed product order containing a given crossed product order and a criterion for weakness. Journal of Algebra and Its Applications, September 2015.

Strategic curricular decisions in Butler University’s actuarial science major. Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, Volume 24(9-10), 2014, pages 820-830.

Hereditary crossed product orders over discrete valuation rings. Journal of Algebra, Volume 371, 1 December 2012, pages 329-349.

Butler Mathematics Research Camp (MRC)

  Butler University Mathematics Research Camp 2018
Tori Puhl, Dr. Rasitha Jayasekare, and Brittany Mann 

Mathematics Research Camp was held August 6-13, 2018. The camp provided current first-year through senior majors a first research experience in mathematics. Prior research experience was not required. 

Congratulations to our Mathematics Research Camp participants for their outstanding work!

Professors Dr. John Herr, Dr. Rasitha Jayasekare, Dr. Bill Johnston, Dr. Scott Kaschner,  Dr. Amber Russell, Dr. Prem Sharma, Dr. Jon Sorensen (Computer Science), and Dr. Becky Wahl worked on problems with students, Jay Brickley, Jacob Charboneau, Alex Glickfield,  CJ Koch, Brittany Mann, Tori Puhl, Brianna Sorensen, and Troy Wiegand,

MAA and Actuarial Science Club Events

MAA is hosting the following events:  

Throne of Games

Tuesday, September 18
5-7 PM
JH 272C



Math Department Picnic

Thursday, October 4th
12-2 PM
JH 272C


Bowling with the Professors

Thursday, November 8th
5-7 PM
Local bowling alley



MAA is offering academic events aswell:

Calculus Working Group

Every two weeks
Group discussion around high level calculus problems,
to freshen skills and fill in the gaps. 
A professor may teach an advanced lesson occasionally

Problem Solving

Every two weeks
Open to all levels of mathematics
Intention:  expland critical thinking skills and
form problem-solving teams for competitions!

MAA Scavenger Hunt will be held Saturday March 2, 2019 
Our students work with local high school students in a morning full of exploring the campus and solving math problems.  The event starts at 9:00 AM and ends by 1:00 PM.  A pizza lunch is provided for all participants.  This free event is open to all area high schools.  For more information contact Rena Duerksen at


If you haven't already, sign up at to see news about all the student organizations on campus (including the math club!)  You can find all the events on Butler Engage as well.


If you have any questions about the club, or any ideas or suggestions, please contact Dave Purdum at

The Department Fall Picnic 2018

The MAA Student club is hosting the annual Fall Picnic on October 4th, 2018 from 12:00-2:00 pm.
The event will be held in JH 272C.



Celebration of the Mind in honor of Martin Gardner's 103rd birthday

The celebration of Martin Gardner's 104th birthday (born October 21, 1914) will be held on October 18, 2018 in Jordan Hall 083 during Professors Jeremiah Farrell and Steven Bloom's Honors course on Martin Gardner.