Math Clubs 9/21: Game Day!

The first meeting of the year for Math Clubs will be Friday, September 21, at 2:30 pm in Math Building 212. It will be a day of board & dice games. Come relax with us! (flyer in PDF form)

September Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Brian Beavers

Editor's Note: This is the eighth in a series of spotlights on mathematics and statistics faculty. Dr. Beavers joined us in Fall 2006.

Do you have a hobby or collect something?  How did you get into that?

This child of the '80s has a considerable Transformers collection. It started in 1984 with the first series of figures and I still collect new ones today. My most interesting piece is Reflector, the special thee-piece camera that was a mail order special; I found it in a random antique shop for a tenth it's market value! I enjoy fiddling to figure out the transformation, and now the toys have quite a nostaglia factor. As a rival collector, Dr. Turner has become my nemesis.

Tell us about an adventure you had, or would like to have.

My wife and I have had three adventures to Spain now, some with family and friends, and including one trip that was a month long. I'm more than ready to go back! I am fascinated by the intricacies of the Mudéjar style. My profile picture comes from the Hall of Ambassadors in the Alcázar of Seville. One day, I would love to teach a geometry class among all the amazing patterns in Andalusia.

What kind of music, books, movies, sports, games, cars, etc. (pick one or more) do you like?  Is there any particular reason?

Ever since I first got a copy of the Back to The Future II score on cassette, I've been a huge fan of epic movie scores. It's my "junk food" music, and you can often hear it playing in the background when I work. Plus, I love listening to bold, adventurous themes while driving the many miles it takes to get anywhere in Texas. I read a lot - typically the news and various nonfiction books, with a few classic fiction series thrown in. I used to have a weekly classic movie night at my house. Casablanca Forever! I've been a Chicago Cubs fan since childhood and got to see them at Wrigley Field during their world championship 2016 series.

What is the closest you have ever come to dying?

There was a time when I was on Dr. Harris' pontoon boat on Toledo Bend Reservoir when it started sinking...

What did you do to put yourself through school, or what weird job have you held?

In college, I graded math homework for the LA Tech math department and I ran network cable and fixed computer systems for the College of Engineering and Science at LA Tech; if you look at what I do now, you would see that not much has changed. One year in elementary school I picked tomatoes three days a week in my grandfather's garden - if you could call a patch that generated dozens of bushels per week a "garden." My grandfather never did anything small; I learned a lot from him about working hard to help others and following my creative instincts to find new and interesting projects.

The thing that really makes you cool and unique is something that I would never have thought to list here.  What is it?

I have the rarest Myers-Briggs personality type, INFJ, which is also the rarest type among men. I also have an Erdös number of 3. One of my goals in life is to appear in a movie so that I can have a defined Erdös-Bacon number.

Why Study Math at SFA?

Math&Stats Graduate Student Chance Bradford on "Why I Study Math at SFA"

About Us

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics is a friendly and supportive place for our students. Our faculty are committed to excellence and continual improvement in teaching and advising students through our challenging curriculum:

Our math clubs are very active in hosting math talks and participating in conferences, fundraisers, and social activities.

We offer one of the leading certification programs in the state in mathematics teaching. The department proudly produces qualified teachers at all levels.

We offer dual-credit courses to local and rural schools and make visits to speak about mathematics and statistics.

Why study mathematics?

Mathematics is perhaps the most intellectually challenging and practical major you can choose. Some major in math for the enjoyment and beauty of the subject. Others major in math for its practicality and applicability to the sciences, engineering, finance, and even the social sciences. Mathematics develops rigorous analytical thinking skills that are prized in all fields of human endeavor.

Programs offered at SFA

  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with Secondary Teacher Certification
  • Minor in Mathematics
  • Minor in Applied Statistics
  • Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences with focus in
    • Mathematics
    • Statistics
  • Master of Science in School Mathematics Teaching with focus in
    • Middle-Level Teaching
    • Secondary Teaching

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics is to attract and retain the best available scholars who actively pursue knowledge of mathematics, statistics, and/or mathematics education and who skillfully communicate their knowledge of the subject to their students, colleagues, and the community as a whole.

Specific roles of the Department are:

  1. To provide a sound curriculum for students who wish to pursue a career in mathematics or statistics in business and industry;
  2. To provide service courses for students who are majoring in some other department, but who need mathematics or statistics as a tool or to satisfy general degree requirements;
  3. To offer preparation to those who are planning to pursue a graduate degree;
  4. To prepare teachers for positions in colleges, universities, and public or private schools.