Bob Short is a senior Mathematics major from Indiana, Pennsylvania. With family ties to JCU and the Cleveland area, Bob was familiar with John Carroll; and since he was “looking for a small school where I could get a respectable education,” Bob found JCU to be “exactly what I was looking for.”
Bob came to John Carroll knowing that he wanted to major in Mathematics. “I consider myself very fortunate to have known that,” he says. But Bob’s academic horizons have been expanded by his exposure to the field of philosophy, and he will be completing a double major in both Mathematics and Philosophy in the coming spring. He is also a member of the JCU Honors Program, which is designed to encourage students to integrate their learning and to seek and respond to intellectual challenge, through a sequence of honors courses, tutorials and seminars.
Almost since the day he started at JCU, Bob has taken a keen interest in discovering new ideas in mathematics, and he has been especially active in presenting the results of his research at student conferences, both regionally and nationally. His most recent presentation, titled “Variations on the Collatz Conjecture,” was at the national Pi Mu Epsilon conference, held in conjunction with the Mathematical Association of America’s annual summer MathFest.
During this academic year, Bob is working in the JCU Mathematics Tutoring Center, where he has been helping other students with their courses in calculus and statistics. He has also worked off campus for several years as a server at the local Applebee’s restaurant. When not involved with his studies or work, Bob occasionally makes time to play guitar, and is also a self-described “avid player of video games.” (Talk to Bob if you need some tips on Starcraft II or Team Fortress 2. )
Bob’s favorite mathematics class has been Dr. Paul Shick’s Topology course, which is normally taken only by graduate students. “The topics and ideas covered in that class are fascinating to me,” Bob says. “Plus, Dr. Shick does a great job of encouraging thought while working out proofs during class.” Bob is currently in the process of applying to graduate programs in mathematics, and the topology course, along with the other mathematics classes Bob has taken, will prepare him well for the next phase of his education, graduate study in Mathematics leading to a doctoral degree.