November 2013 Newsletter

Math is Mightier Than the Sword at Math Club’s

Bulldog Calculus Showdown

By: Allison Clark

The TLU Math Club is hard at work this fall, gearing up for the 4th Annual Bulldog Calculus Showdown!  The philanthropic event, held every spring, is the main happening of the semester for the organization.  Born of a simple idea to promote math to high school students, the Bulldog Calculus Showdown has grown into a full-fledged competition which last year drew 50 teams from high schools as far as Goliad, San Antonio, Austin, Georgetown and everywhere in between.

Preparation for the competition begins in the fall with the organization of a committee to oversee the advertisement of the competition, team sign-ups, test writing, grading and other organizational tasks.  Teams are made up of up to four high school students, each with a teacher as a team sponsor.  The competition, which is free for all teams to participate in, consists of two rounds.  The first round is a test completed at the teams’ high school.  Teams submit their answers, and the top 10 scoring teams after this round advance to the second round held on campus during the first Saturday in March.  That morning, teams compete in a calculus scavenger hunt around campus and finish the afternoon with a fast-answer Jeopardy-style final round.  The three teams with the most points at the end of the day win cash prizes for themselves and for their high schools’ math departments.

The BCS committee is led by the fearless Dr. Betseygail Rand, who is excited about what this year’s competition will bring.  “Each year, the competition has grown bigger and more competitive,” Dr. Rand reminisces.  “I love having all the high school students come to campus and race around like mad for the scavenger hunt. We have every reason to believe that this year will be the best yet.”


BCS Volunteers: Back Row: Aissa Maese, Amanda Thompson, Matthew Middlestadt, Wako Bungula, Anthony Tran, Sandra Roberts, James Cook, Erika Gallo, Devin Walton, Whitney Rayo, Sydni MacDonald, & Dr. Rebecca Clark Front row: Allison Clark & Cassie Fauche

2013 BCS Volunteers:
Back Row: Aissa Maese, Amanda Thompson, Matthew Middlestadt, Wako Bungula, Anthony Tran, Sandra Roberts, James Cook, Erika Gallo, Devin Walton, Whitney Rayo, Sydni MacDonald, & Brandi Haliscak
Front row: Allison Clark & Cassie Fauche


New Faculty Profile

Dr. William Hager is the newest full-time faculty member in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department.  He began teaching in the fall of 2010 after graduating from the University of Iowa with a Ph.D. in mathematics.  Dr. Hager’s mathematical interests include physical knots and knot energies.  Dr. Hager received his undergraduate degree from University of Wisconsin, Eau Clair, with a major in mathematics with a liberal arts focus and a minor in philosophy.

His pedagogical interests include inquiry-based learning and math tutorial videos and their implementation in the math classroom.  He has written an inquiry-based course guide for Linear Algebra. Hager also is an organizer for the South Central Texas Math Teachers’ Circle, due to begin in the summer of 2014.

Dr. Hager lives in Seguin with his wife who teaches mathematics at the University of Texas.   They live with their dog Maisie and three cats, Stoopid, Eva, and Richard Parker.  In his spare time, Dr. Hager practices martial arts, including Hapkido, Taekwando, and Danzan Ryu Jujitsu.  He also enjoys cooking and finding great restaurants.

Faculty Presentations and Publications (June 2012 – May 2013)

  • Reza Abbasian and John Sieben, Creating 10-minute videos for applied calculus (report on summer grant)”, TLU Faculty Professional Development session, November 2012.
  • Reza Abbasian and John  Sieben, “A Brief Tutorial on Building a “Flipped” Classroom”, annual joint meeting of MAA-AMS, San Diego, CA, January 2013
  • Will Hager and Betseygail Rand, “Inquiry-Based Classrooms”, TLU Faculty Professional Development session, February 2013.
  • John Sieben, “What’s Wrong With College Algebra?”, Texas Academy of Science, Kerrville, TX, March 1, 2013.
  • Reza Abbasian and John Sieben , “Creating an ” Inverted” Classroom”, ICTCM , Boston, MA, March 2013.
  • Reza Abbasian and John Sieben, “Inverted Classrooms: the what, the why, the how”, Texas Section, Lubbock, TX, April 2013.
  • Sam Hijazi, “Using Portable Technology to Teach Web Programming and Database Classes”, ASCUE conference, Myrtle Beach, SC, June 2013.


Student Presentations and Publications (June 2012 – May 2013)

  • Wako Tasisa Bungula, “Volume of Solids of Revolution about a Curve” presented his paper last week in the Alpha Chi’s 2013 Convention, Baltimore, MD, April 2013.  Wako was awarded a $2500 scholarship toward his graduate studies.

News from Graduates  

  • Wako Bungala (BS Math and Physics , May 2013) will be attending University Iowa to work on his PhD in Applied mathematics starting fall 2013.
  • Dielli Hoxha (BS CS and BA Math, May 2013) will be attending Texas A&M university to work on his PhD in Computer Science starting Fall 2013.
  • Cliff Foulds (BS Math, May 2013) will be working for Edward Jones.
  • Brian Dietrich (BS Math, December 2012) is teaching high school math.
  • Carolina Guerrero (BS MATH-Ed, May 2013) is teaching high school math.
  • Ryan Michaels (BS CSCI, May 2011) received his master’s degree from Notre Dame and will be pursuing a PhD in CS at the University of North Texas.
  • Riley Foster (BS CSCI, May 2013) will be attending UTSA to work on his Masters