May Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Bill Clark

Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a series of spotlights on mathematics and statistics faculty. Dr. Clark is our Coordinator of Graduate Studies. He joined us in Fall 1966.

Do you have a hobby or collect something?

I like to visit or participate in Archeology digs and I also raise a few cattle.

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

Camped in and traveled to 49 of the 50 US states. I couldn't pull my camper to Hawaii. An adventure I would like is to travel to Madagascar.

What was one of your biggest successes or failures?

Biggest Success - Being selected by the Texas Section of the MAA as the recipient of the Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics award in 2002. Biggest Failure- Rodeo Bull Rider.

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

Classical country first and most genres second. For example, I love "Für Elise" by Beethoven. Books- Historical Novels and/or Historical Adventure. Sports-Collegiate Football and Basketball.

What do you study?

Mathematical Analysis. Right now I am reading about current Integral Transforms. I also study the Bible.

What projects (academic or otherwise) are you currently working on?

Learning to fly a drone.

What is the closest you have ever come to dying?

Three times. As a 6 year old, falling off a cliff while climbing on Mount Rainer. As a Jr. high student being run over by a car. As an adult barely escaping with my life from a burning Oil Field Rig fire. The highly dangerous escaping gas caught on fire when a deck worker tried to light cigarette. Flames roared up into the upper rig and I was working the derrick job. My coat caught on fire but I shucked it and was lucky enough to get untied from my safety harness and ride the T-Bar escape trolley to the ground. The deck worker lost both hands.

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

I had all kind of jobs putting myself through college. Seismogrph crew member, oil field Roughneck, soda jerk, newspaper deliveryman, truck driver for Railway Express, selling firewood, working the wheat harvest in the summers, working hay fields , and a lot of other side jobs to make ends meet. I can't leave out the fact that my wife also worked hard at several jobs while helping to put me through college.

What was the best piece of advice you were ever given?

"Put things back where you got 'em." Best of all, "Trust in God."

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

I was President of the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America in the 1980's.

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.