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Jeff Boersema, PhDENGR 400A(206) 296-5929 firstname.lastname@example.org
Margie TrenaryBANN 415(206) email@example.com
Department fax: (206) 296-5932
In the beginning, there was no mathematics department at Seattle College. Former Seattle University President Louis Gaffney, S.J., recalled "mathematics was taught by whomever was around and knew some mathematics." In the early 1950's, while he was still completing his Ph.D. at the University of Washington, Orval Klosewas became the first mathematician hired by Seattle University. Ted Chihara, a former SU student, soon joined him after completing his own Ph.D. at Purdue University. In 1956, two other UW graduate students, C.C. Chang and Andre Yandl, were added to the department. Andre, who was still teaching at Seattle U nearly fifty years later, has had a vigorous influence on the department and, more importantly, on so many of the students that have passed through during his tenure here.
In the 1960's, Sputnik and the subsequent space race reminded the world, and the US, of the importance of cutting edge mathematics --- which, until then, had done most of its cutting in the Soviet Union. Support for mathematics education increased significantly, as did the number and quality of mathematics majors. The SU mathematics department department expanded by hiring Jim McKay, Burnett Toskey, and Mary Turner. Mary was the first woman to earn a doctorate in mathematics at the University of Chicago. During this time a high percentage of mathematics majors pursued graduate work in mathematics; among those who received doctorates were Stewart Anderson (U. Washington), Eileen Ting (U. Washington), Frank Demeyer (U. Oregon), Larry Dickson (Princeton U.), and Dave Ferguson (U.Wisconsin).
In 1963 Andre Yandl was awarded an NSF Faculty Fellowship which enabled him to complete his Ph.D. in topology at the University of Washington. After a year at Western Washington University, he returned to SU in 1966 to become the chair of the department. C.C. Chang was awarded an NSF Faculty Fellowship to study numerical analysis and computer science. With the help of Fr. John Koehler, S.J., and George Town, he introduced and taught the first computer science courses at Seattle University. In addition to computer science, the Department also expanded its offerings with new courses designed for business and others designed for elementary education majors.
In the early 70's, B.B. Thompson, Alan Troy, and John Vinson joined the department. Later in that same decade Mary Ehlers, Carl Swenson, and Wynne Guy were added, replacing B.B. Thompson and John Koehler. In the 1980's Ahmad Mirbagheri, Janet Mills, and Sr. Kathleen Sullivan, RSCJ became members of the department while C.C. Chang and Burnett Toskey retired. Janet Mills took over as chair from Mary Ehlers. In 1990, we hired our first applied mathematician, Donna Sylvester. With her hire, we became one of the few mathematics departments in the US in which the women faculty outnumbered the men.
Shusen Ding joined our faculty as an assistant professor in the fall of 1999 and was able to take over the Real Analysis course when Dr. Ahmad Mirbagheri died suddenly in January of 2000. In 2001, we hired two more tenure-track faculty, Jeff Boersema and John Carter. Around this time, Dr. Carl Swenson, Dr. Alan Troy, and Dr. Andre’ Yandl decided to retire. In the fall of 2003, David Neel, a combinatorist, joined the tenure-track faculty. Dylan Helliwell and Mark MacLean were hired for the fall of 2005. In 2007, we hired Dr. Leanne Robertson, a number theorist. In 2009, when Janet Mills and Wynne Guy retired, we hired Allison Henrich, a topologist, McLean Sloughter, a statistician. Brian Fischer, an applied mathematician, was added in 2011. Most recently, in 2012 we hired Eric Bahaud, a differential geometer, Steven Klee, a combinatorist, and Katie Oliveras another applied mathematician.
We have made major efforts to meaningfully incorporate technology into the curriculum. In the mid-1990's, we were able to initiate an Applied Mathematics Track. More recently in the fall of 2012, we initiated the Actuarial Mathematics Track as one of our six degree options. The mathematics program has had a moderate but steady number of majors; between six and fifteen graduate every year. The department supports the undergraduate program of every department in the university through its Core offerings. Our primary clientele come from the College of Science and Engineering and the Albers School of Business at Seattle University. The department consistently has the highest student-faculty ratio of any department in the College of Science and Engineering and it ranks among the highest of the student-faculty ratios in the University. The department members have won several teaching awards. The department operates a Math Lab to help our students and it has a record of reaching out to the broader community through grant-funded programs.
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