Dr. Pam Warton – Mathematics

Q: What is your name, the courses you teach and hometown?
A: Pam Warton; Chair of the Mathematics Department; Perrysburg, OH

Q: What kind of hands-on learning is happening in your classes?
A: At the lower levels, we try to engage the students by using activities. We have a classroom set of buzzers that we use for math Jeopardy. When we’re reviewing for exams, there are all sorts of games we play. Today, we walked a guy through a minefield across the Cartesian coordinate system.

In our upper levels, juniors and seniors can choose to do research projects with a faculty member. We’ve done a variety of projects from the mathematics of counter terrorism to developing a basketball metric to try and predict the winner of the NCAA tournament. The students, and myself, find those very rewarding, and they get a sense of pride when they finish something that nobody else has done before.

Q: Among your students, in whom have you seen professional change?
A: I’ve seen a lot of professional growth in a couple of my students in the last couple of years. Lacie Myers came to me not knowing what she wanted to do. She was thinking she would drop out of school and become a secretary. She started taking math classes, and she really found her niche, and now she’s talking about going to graduate school and becoming a professor.

Dan Brooks transferred here as a chemistry major. He has a twin brother, and they’ve always been kind of competitive. His brother was always better at math, and then all of a sudden, Dan got here and really took off. He realized that he really was good at math. He has turned into one of the best math students we have. He is a tutor. He has helped countless students make it through their lower level math classes, and he probably has studied about 400 hours to pass his first actuary exam. He is someone I’m really proud of.

Q: What is your favorite part about teaching?
A: There are a couple of things: my fellow faculty and the students. The students at Findlay are phenomenal. This is the third institution I’ve taught at, and I’ve been so impressed with the students here. They typically have a good work ethic. They try hard. They’re just good kids, and they’re a pleasure to teach.

My fellow faculty and I have offices in a little white house that we lovingly call the Math House. It is like a family in there. Everyone likes and respects each other. If we have a problem, we can go and talk to another faculty member about it and get ideas. We share new ideas for the classroom.

Q: Outside of the classroom, what do you love to do?
A: I have a hobby that I’m passionate about. I play violin, and the thing I love to do at Findlay outside the classroom is play with The University of Findlay Orchestra. We have two performances every year. It’s directed by Tom Carey, and he is phenomenal, and it is a really rewarding experience.

Q: What is your advice for a student making a college decision?
A: I have a son who is getting ready to go college. I understand how difficult it is to choose a college that is right for you. Really do your research. Make a campus visit. Many of the colleges advertise that they do the same types of things: individualized attention, undergraduate research. You need to make sure they actually do those things when you make the campus visit.

Q: What do you love about being an Oiler?
A: I love being a Findlay Oiler. This is my eighth year here. I knew after my first six months here that I had found a home. The University of Findlay does it right. They do everything they say they do. The students are phenomenal. This is a great place to work.

Graduates of Findlay’s Mathematics Program have 100 percent job placement rate and land jobs with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and major insurance companies. Graduates also have 100 percent graduate school placement with institutions all over the country.
Students in the Mathematics Program get to decide what unique courses are offered each year. Courses students have chosen in the past include game theory, topology and financial math.
Students in UF’s Math Club participate in competitions and math conferences and put on events such as Barbie bungee jumping and stress buster parties.
Undergraduate students have had unique research opportunities such as mathematics of counterterrorism and mathematics of the Rubik’s Cube.
It’s easy for UF mathematics students to double major in education and graduate in four years ready to teach.
UF’s Mathematics Program offers five emphasis areas for students to tailor their degrees. Students can choose from actuary preparation, computer science, engineering science, operations research or pure mathematics.