Mathematical Sciences Dept


Owen Byer
Department Chair and Professor of Mathematics

Owen joined the Eastern Mennonite faculty in 1999 after teaching at Northwestern College (Iowa) for three years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with secondary certification at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in pure mathematics at the University of Delaware in Newark. His graduate training is in combinatorics (graph theory, specifically), and he is currently coauthoring a Discrete Math textbook. His hobbies include playing basketball, bridge, and watching NFL football. Owen and his wife Barbara were married in January 1990, with son Cameron born in 1998 and daughter Lily in 2001. The family attends Weavers Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Va.

Owen is currently chair of EMU’s Mathematical Sciences department and will be serving as President of EMU’s faculty senate in 2014-15.

Charles Cooley
Asst Professor Comp Science

Charles Cooley began teaching at EMU in 1999. He received his bachelor’s degree from Roanoke College where he majored in mathematics, computer science and statistics. After two years studying Software Engineering (specifically object-oriented programming language code reusablity metrics) in the CS graduate program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Charles took a supposedly part-time, one-year teaching position at Concord College in Athens, West Virginia. After a few years of full-time teaching, Charles moved to Harrisonburg and completed a master’s degree in computer science at James Madison University. Before returning to teaching, Charles worked as a Network Analyst and System Engineer. In 2007 with the merger of the CIS and CS programs, Charles began working in the EMU Institutional Research and Effectiveness Office half-time, but resumed full-time teaching to implement the new CS curriculum in 2008.

Assoc Prof Emeritus of Math
Daniel King
Asst Professor of Physics

Daniel King graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Goshen College, where he majored in Physics and Music. He received his M. S. and Ph. D. degrees in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois, where his research focused on the dynamic interactions between ultrasound and contrast agent microbubbles. In addition to bubbles, his broader research interests include acoustics and fluid mechanics. In his spare time he enjoys playing Ultimate and writing quirky little pop songs.

Esther Tian
Asst Professor Engineering

Esther Tian received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Changsha Institute of Technology in China. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia, where she did an interdisciplinary research on Modeling and Analysis of Neuronal Circuits for Locomotion with Sensory Feedback. Esther taught Statistics and Calculus at the Miller School of Albemarle and read AP exams for the ETS and College Board. In the fall of 2013 Esther joined the Eastern Mennonite University as an Assistant Professor of Engineering, where she teaches engineering and mathematical courses. Her research interests include neuronal control mechanism of animal locomotion and robotics, as well as engineering design education. Esther’s hobbies are reading and hiking. When hiking she enjoys striking new routes, although there is one trail she is especially fond of. It happens to be called Old Trail.

John Wallbaum
Asst Professor of Mathematics

John did his undergraduate work at Wheaton College in Illinois where he received a B.S in mathematics. He then earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame. After a semester teaching at Valparaiso and a year working in Chicago, John came to EMU in fall 2012. His mathematical interests are in computability theory and abstract algebra. He enjoys sports, especially basketball and fastpitch softball.

Dee Weikle
Assoc Professor Comp Science

Dee Ann Burgess Weikle graduated from Rice University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1985. She subsequently worked as an engineer at Tracor Aerospace and then Motorola Semiconductor in Austin, Texas. After leaving Motorola for a year in Sweden, she moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1993 where she completed her PhD in computer science at the University of Virginia, specializing in computer architecture with an emphasis on memory system analysis and design. During this time her three children were born. From 2001-2002, she spent another year in Sweden with her family. On returning to the Charlottesville area, she continued to work for the University of Virginia as an adjunct professor, research scientist and consultant to the Curry School of Education.

Dee is an active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville Virginia where she is serving as a ruling elder and chair of the Adult Education committee. She is happy to be a part of the EMU community where she is fulfilling her life-long dream of teaching. In the fall of 2013 she will be teaching Introduction to Computer Science, Computer Architecture and Operating Systems, and Analysis of Algorithms. She is currently involved in computer architecture research attempting to characterize parallel programs. In addition, she has conducted research on applying computer games to learning, effects and issues surrounding the use of social media, and the use of expectation and value in teaching science classes. Details are available on the STEM pages. Her hobbies include hiking with her husband, Bikram Yoga, crocheting, reading and cooking with her children.

Adjunct Faculty

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