Getting to Know: Dave Taylor

by minton on August 30, 2019

Mathematics major and Honors student Olivia Long wondered about the profession of mathematics professor at a small college like Roanoke. She asked us several questions about the present and the future of our job. Here are the edited results, so that you can get to know us and our job.

Dave Taylor has published a book introducing probability through games such as Yahtzee and Monopoly. He enjoys magic tricks, including mathemagics and the mysterious cube trick in the background. The bed is for visits from his dog Lilly, and any department members who come whining to him in his role of department chair.

He does research on a number of topics including representation theory of Lie algebra, games and game theory, math education and curriculum, and call center work. For his classes he works with them on his call center work to ask questions, gather information and write press releases. He has also introduced R software to do real statistical tests.

He has learned through his years as a professor that sometimes topics dry up and you have to be able to shift. In the year 2050, he views liberal arts colleges as possibly teaching online, one-on-one interactions, and math research being more specialized. His favorite phrase is “Bingo.” His favorite games are Clue, Pandemic, and Betrayal at House on the Hill.

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Getting to Know: Roland Minton

by minton on August 30, 2019

Mathematics major and Honors student Olivia Long wondered about the profession of mathematics professor at a small college like Roanoke. She asked us several questions about the present and the future of our job. Here are the edited results, so that you can get to know us and our job.

Roland Minton enjoys levitating light bulbs, Klein bottles, and various illusions. His book Sports Math features a picture of Roger Federer that he took at Centre Court, Wimbledon. He is a big sports fan, especially of Clemson football.

His research is on golf analytics, most recently classifying golfers and courses based on their strengths and weaknesses and applying those classifications to determine how a specific golfer will do on a specific course. He gives his classes research projects using data collected by the Roanoke College Stat Crew to ask statistical questions of interest to Maroon athletics.

As he became more accustomed to being a professor, he decided to move toward research that he could pick up and drop as needed, and that students could collaborate on. He imagines Roanoke College in 2050 to be a place where online work will be common, but face-to-face interaction remain important. He imagines moving away from fact-based testing towards guiding research and internships that benefit Maroons greater than students with online degrees. His favorite phrase to use in class is, “Does that make sense?” and his favorite sport to play is golf.

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Getting to Know: Karin Saoub

by minton on August 30, 2019

Mathematics major and Honors student Olivia Long wondered about the profession of mathematics professor at a small college like Roanoke. She asked us several questions about the present and the future of our job. Here are the edited results, so that you can get to know us and our job.

Karin Saoub has published a general education book on graph theory, and is finishing up a similar book for math majors. Her bulletin board includes student projects from a geometry class and drawings by her two children.

Her research interests include gerrymandering and how to mathematically minimize its effects. She works with her classes to produce fun projects to use the concepts for real life purposes. A recent project involves her students running a fake business but using math to maximize the returns they can receive. She has her class find schedules, create routes, organize pipelines, and pick employee preferences.

She has changed her focus as she has worked as a professor. She worked in graduate school on the ideas of graph theory and graph coloring, which are fairly theoretical. She has shifted these ideas so that they are more accessible to students. She has also begun to write more books instead of articles. In 2050, she pictures schools like Roanoke College with more job training, distance learning, and more skills and less processes. Her favorite phrase is “Essentially,” and her favorite books are by Jane Austen, specifically Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.

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Getting to Know: Chris Lee

August 30, 2019

Mathematics major and Honors student Olivia Long wondered about the profession of mathematics professor at a small college like Roanoke. She asked us several questions about the present and the future of our job. Here are the edited results, so that you can get to know us and our job. Chris Lee is co-founder with […]

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Getting to Know: Hannah Robbins

August 30, 2019

Mathematics major and Honors student Olivia Long wondered about the profession of mathematics professor at a small college like Roanoke. She asked us several questions about the present and the future of our job. Here are the edited results, so that you can get to know us and our job. Hannah Robbins has recently finished […]

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Getting to Know: Maggie Rahmoeller

August 30, 2019

Mathematics major and Honors student Olivia Long wondered about the profession of mathematics professor at a small college like Roanoke. She asked us several questions about the present and the future of our job. Here are the edited results, so that you can get to know us and our job. Maggie Rahmoeller has fun combining […]

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Getting to Know: Adam Childers

August 30, 2019

Mathematics major and Honors student Olivia Long wondered about the profession of mathematics professor at a small college like Roanoke. She asked us several questions about the present and the future of our job. Here are the edited results, so that you can get to know us and our job. Adam Childers can often be […]

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Those Were the Days

April 22, 2019

  There are some advantages to being over 60 years old. I can play golf from the senior tees, and get the senior discount at the cafeteria. I saw Jimi Hendrix in concert. That might be it. Roanoke College math lecturer Claire Staniunas was hired by Ron Walpole. In RC history, Walpole has the star […]

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Play It Again, CSAM

April 18, 2019

It was a weekend of comebacks in sports: Tiger Woods winning the Masters, the Clippers erasing a 31-point deficit against the Warriors, and CSAM returning to Furman. The last item made few headlines, but the Carolina Sports Analytics Meeting at Furman University is a highlight of the year for myself and several students. Roanoke College […]

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Star City

March 21, 2019

In Agnes Handal’s hometown, Christmas season is a happy time with numerous parades and festivities. Musical groups called scouts come from miles around to march and play their drums and bagpipes, celebrating with local townfolk and tourists of various religious backgrounds. Agnes, who is a junior actuarial science major at Roanoke College, showed pictures and […]

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