I'm not sure it qualifies as a hobby, but when I'm not at work I enjoy playing with kids. Anna and I have three kids, and they seem to keep us both very busy.
I really enjoy reading. I don't think I have a favorite kind of book, but I do have some favorite authors. I enjoy reading anything by Charles Dickens, I particularly like his characters. He seems to exaggerate them enough to make them funny, while keeping them real enough that readers are sure they know someone just like them. I also like CS Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Victor Hugo, when he doesn't get too far off from his story. Lately I've been reading some of Lloyd Alexander and the Spirit Animals series with my oldest son, and we have enjoyed those as well.
Recently I have been interested in computation homology – I try to describe the "shape" of things. We can visualize things in one, two, and three dimensions, but homology really gets interesting in higher dimensions where people cannot visualize the objects in question. Until quite recently there have not been too many real-world (unless you consider pure math to be real-world) applications of homology. Lately however, it has been used to differentiate two different types of cancer, once thought to be the same, and is finding many uses in data analysis.
Right now I am having fun writing a computer program to compute the barcode (a plot showing the homology of a sequence of spaces) of an image. I plan to use the program to give a barcode to each image in the "Coloring Book of Complex Function Representations" by Julie Barnes.
I have had many jobs to put myself through school. In high school I worked for a farmer during the summer months. During my undergraduate years I usually had at least one part time job. Some of these included: a private math tutor, working the math lab, early morning custodian (4-8 am, and yes I cleaned lots of bathrooms), offering computer technical support, video editor/special effects for a hunting tv series. Once I got to graduate school I was able to teach some math classes.
Work will win when wishy-washy wishing won't.
I speak Portuguese. After graduating high school, I spent two years in Brazil serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I met lots of wonderful people there and had many great experiences.
Math&Stats Graduate Student Chance Bradford on "Why I Study Math at SFA"
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.
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.
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: