FlipSide Face

FlipSide Face

by Emily SalbergStaff Writer

For most students, the idea of the subject of mathematical graph theory doesn’t exactly come popping off the pages of the course catalog with excitement. Deb Czarneski, assistant professor of mathematics, has done a great deal to change that sentiment about mathematics in her three years at Simpson.

Czarneski can be found instilling math into the hearts of students not only by teaching courses on campus, advising students, growing the Math Club, helping to implement Pi Mu Epsilon on campus (a math honor society) and encouraging students to get involved and find their niche in the broad field that is mathematics.

“I have a belief that math majors can do anything,” Czarneski said. “So many careers can result from a math major, not just teaching or actuary.”

A native of Wisconsin, Czarneski started her education at Mount Mercy College with a degree in mathematics and computer science. She then continued her mathematical schooling at Louisiana State University, completing a master’s degree and specializing in graph theory.

“I’ve always liked math and found it challenging,” Czarneski said. “I actually enjoyed doing the homework and figuring out problems.”

The students continue to challenge Czarneski in the classroom, calling on her problem solving skills daily. Her favorite part about teaching at Simpson has been seeing the progression in students as the years go by and working with students on undergraduate research.

“One of my fondest memories at Simpson has been seeing the accomplishments of my research students this past summer,” Czarneski said. “I wasn’t sure how much they would achieve so early on in their careers, but they surpassed my expectations! It was a proud moment to see all they had accomplished.”

Junior Lynnette Snyder, president of the Math Club, gives credit to Czarneski in her decision of her career path in the field of graph theory.

“Czarneski made math fun and entertaining,” Snyder said. “She’s really helped grow the Math Club and keeps us informed of changes within the department. She knows what she’s doing and if not, knows where to go for answers.”

This passionate professor wants the students at Simpson to know that there is more to mathematics than numbers.

“Math works with any major,” Czarneski said. “It can open doors in your future and become a great double major opportunity. Sound interesting? Then come see me!”