Although I grew up in the south Alabama/north Florida area, I came to Asbury after high school and graduated with a math major in 1981. After that I was a part-time graduate student, earning a master's degree in mathematical sciences at the University of Central Florida in 1984. I studied at Florida State University to receive my Ph.D. in mathematics in 1992.
After graduating from Asbury, I served for over 20 years in the U.S. military. I served for 5 years in the Navy Nuclear Power program and then transferred to the Air Force where I worked in both teaching assignments and research and development. After retiring from the Air Force in 2000, I returned to teach at Asbury. My research interests have focused in fluid dynamics and related areas. My dissertation area was mantle dynamics, but I’ve spent most of my research effort in environmental modeling. Most recently I’ve been exploring computational finance.
Why I Love Mathematics
I was pretty intimidated by my first calculus course at Asbury. I’m not naturally gifted in math (I scored higher in verbal than math on my SAT), but I love the challenge and the structure of math. When my calculus professor assigned the odd-numbered problems for homework, I did them all. The undergraduate course that excited me most about math was differential equations. When I realized that I could model real-world processes with math, I was hooked. This interest in modeling a variety of phenomena led me naturally into computational mathematics. Even when we can get a good math model for a process, it’s useless unless we can solve the model. Computational math is expanding into so many areas that the applications are hard to monitor! I’ve seen some amazing fluid models of blood flow through heart and now I’m playing with ways of forecasting in the financial markets. I love applying a known technique to a new problem or enhancing an existing model to make the simulation more realistic. So many problems…so little time!
Why I Love Teaching at Asbury
I’m not very sentimental, so teaching at my alma mater, in and of itself, held no particular appeal to me. The things that appeal to me about Asbury are the mission of the school and the people who work and study here. Asbury remains clearly Christ-centered. This is a place to put your roots down in your relationship with Jesus. The ‘college years’ are the most critical time (in my opinion) for developing spiritually. I saw the same thing happening in barracks in the military. Asbury is intentional about building a community where young men and women can grow spiritually as well as intellectually. That’s rare today. The men and women in our department are exceptional. They are some of the best scholars and teachers with whom I’ve ever worked. All of them have sacrificed to be at Asbury, and they love working with our students. All of us, both students and faculty, love to work hard and play hard together. Just check out the math modeling results and First Friday craziness!
Courses That I Teach
I teach the freshman calculus courses (MAT 181/182) and I really enjoy that. I also teach the computational math courses: applied math I and II (MAT 351/352) that are typically taken as a junior and numerical analysis (MAT 442) that’s a senior course.
What I Do for Fun Outside of School
I’m blessed to have a job that’s a lot of fun. I have a great family. Carol and I met at Asbury and we have a daughter who graduated from Asbury and a son who is a football player at another university. When I’m not differentiating or integrating, I like to exercise. My wife and I lift weights four times a week in an effort to counteract my pencil-neck geek genes. We also enjoy riding our tandem around the beautiful Bluegrass area. I’m also a motorhead, so I spend a lot of time working on the family cars and motorcycles. I’m also a big Florida State Seminole football fan.