The Mobius Trefoil Tribune

Student Newsletter of the Department of Mathematics

Issue XXXVII October 2017

New Faculty Join the Department.

We are pleased to welcome three new faculty members who joined the UW-Eau Claire mathematics department this fall:

Dr. Dani Brake joins the department as an Assistant Professor, coming from Notre Dame as a postdoctoral researcher, and Colorado State University where Dani did their Ph.D. Dani is excited about teaching and learning in programming and applied math and statistics. Their new research direction is applying Data Science theory and techniques to software for the numerical solution of systems of polynomials. Dani’s ongoing projects include the open source software Bertini2, and computation and 3D printing of real algebraic objects.

Dr. Sam Scholze joins the department as a Visiting Assistant Professor, and is a recent graduate of Texas A&M. His main mathematical interest is Functional Analysis, or the intersection of Linear Algebra and Analysis. Sam grew up nearby Eau Claire in Humbird, Wisconsin. Sam is glad to be back in the area and to have the ability to see his parents, brother, three sisters, two nieces, and nephew. In his spare time, Sam likes to fish, play baseball, basketball, and badminton (or pretty much any other sport).

Dr. Diana Thomson also joins the department as a Visiting Assistant Professor. She is a triple graduate of UW-Milwaukee, with a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D., all in Mathematics. Diana currently teaching a diverse set of courses with sections of Math 10 – Basic Mathematics and Elementary Algebra, Math 20 – Intermediate Algebra, Math 246 – Elementary Statistics, and Math 330/530 – Modern Geometry. Diana’s research interests are complex-valued neural networks, and applied algebraic geometry.

Data Analytics Association Student Organization Founded.

A new student organization was formed at the beginning of the fall semester called the Data Analytics Association. The club was founded to be an organization for students of any mathematical or computer skill level who are interested in data science. The Data Analytics Association joins two other math-centric student organizations at UW-Eau Claire: the Math Club and the Actuarial Science Club.

These three clubs present an excellent way to get involved in mathematics related activities outside of the classroom. Here are a few words from the presidents of these organizations.

Data Analytics Association

Hello! We are the Data Analytics Association (DAA) – we are a new club on campus centered around statistical analysis of data and machine learning. We hope to contribute to the UW-Eau Claire Community by providing opportunities such as: competing in teams at data-modeling/-analytics competitions for cash prizes; analytics-based service learning opportunities; presentations by members of the data analytics community; and tutorials on using different programs (R, Python, etc.). We meet bi-weekly on Thursdays at 5 in HHH 301 and our next meeting is October 26. If you would like to learn more about us or have any questions feel free to contact Nick at

Math Club

Math Club meets about twice a month on Wednesday nights, usually around 5. We provide dinner once a month at our longer meetings, and have other fun events for students to participate in. The purpose of Math Club is to bring people, of all majors and who enjoy math, together for fun and learning. This year, we will have speakers come to talk about their research experiences, graduate school, and what kind of math is done in the real world. For more information contact Clara at or Rita at

Actuarial Club

It’s never too late to join a great club that looks even better on a resume! The actuarial club is a great place to network with future employers, meet new people with similar interests, and learn more about the career. We usually hold 1-2 meetings a month where we attend a professional presentation to learn about a company and possible career paths such as internships all while eating a free dinner! We also play intramural volleyball every week throughout the year and could always use more people. If interested in joining please send an email to our club President, Audrey at

Faculty departure.

After 9 years teaching at UW-Eau Claire, Dr. Manda Riehl left the math department at the end of the Spring 2017 semester and is now an associate professor at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Math Department Events.

There are many upcoming events hosted by the mathematics department. These are great opportunities to get involved in the life of the department. Mark your calendar!

•      Math Meet                      February  17, 2018

•      Sonya Kovalevsky Day  March 10, 2018

•      Math Retreat                  April 6, 2018


Note that this spring, UW-Eau Claire will be hosting the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Wisconsin section meeting April 6-7, 2018. Our usual Math Retreat will be held alongside the MAA section meeting. Keep an eye out for more details as we get closer to this event!

Imperial Cryptarithm.

In a cryptarithm, the digits are represented by letters. To solve, identify the digit each letter represents.


where FOOT is prime.

Class Schedule for Spring 2018.

It is time to register for next term. The current offerings of upper division math courses for the spring semester are listed below. (The details of meeting time, instructor, etc. can be found on CampS.) Look through the list and get excited about the math you will be taking this coming semester!

312 - Differential Equations & Linear Algebra

314 - Discrete Mathematics

316 - Intro to Real Analysis

318 - Intro to Complex Variables

322 - Abstract Algebra for Elem. Teachers

324 - Linear Algebra & Matrix Theory

330 - Modern Geometry

346 - Intro to Probability

347 - Math Statistics

350 - Intro to Financial Math

354 - Intro to Math Modeling

365 - Patterns of Problem Solving

425 - Abstract Algebra I

426 - Abstract Algebra II

440 - Digital Image Processing

441 - Linear Regression Analysis

447 - Nonparametric Statistics

451 - Teaching Math with Technology

460 - Contingent Payment Analysis

475 - Credibility and Loss Models

480 - Research Seminar

Of the many wonderful classes being offered next term, here are highlights of one particular course straight from the instructor.

Math 426:  Abstract Algebra II.

Dr. aBa Mbirika

Abstract Algebra II is a very exciting course that brings together several different branches of mathematics to create a powerful machine for the study of problems of considerable historical and mathematical importance – namely, the study of polynomial equations. The ultimate goal is to build enough machinery to understand a subject called Galois (pronounced “Gal-wah”) Theory. The latter theory unveils a tantalizing relationship between the structure of groups and the structure of fields. It then uses this relationship to describe how the roots of a polynomial relate to one another. More specifically, we start with a polynomial f (x). Its roots live in a splitting field of f (x), and moreover, they display a symmetry which is seen by letting a group called the Galois group of f (x) act on them. And we can gather information about the group’s structure from the field’s structure and vice versa via the Fundamental Theorem of Galois.

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