Program Leader: Dr. Russell Howell

Russ and Kay HowellThe 2016 WIM director is Dr. Russell Howell. Dr. Howell has been to Querétaro twice so far, in 2007, and briefly in November of 2015. He has also spent time in Cuernavaca, Mexico City, and, of course, Ensenada.

Here are some words he would like to share with you:

My wife Kay and I have traveled extensively, co-leading a Europe semester (Fall 1994) and a summer Europe program (May-June, 1980). In 2013 we organized and worked with an “Emmaus Road” team of four students to help with missionaries we support in Madagascar. We know what it is like to live overseas, as we spent one year in South Korea (1977-1978) prior to coming to Westmont. We also lived for one year in Edinburgh, Scotland (1905-1986, where I received an M.Sc. in Computer Science), and in Oxford, England (2006-2007, where I had and appointment as a Visiting Scholar). I’m not sure this “counts” as an off-campus program, but I’ve been the faculty Inoculum leader twice.

My Ph.D. in mathematics is from The Ohio State University. I have also taught at Calvin College (1999), the University of Maryland (2000), and the U.S. Air Force Academy (2015). I have twice received Westmont’s “teacher of the year” award, and in the fall of 2013 was honored to be installed as the third recipient of the Kathleen Smith endowed chair. Thus, my official title is now “Kathleen Smith Professor of Mathematics.” I continue to be active professionally, and in June 2014 received an NSF grant that brought to Westmont a team of 15 scholars to work in the area of my training—complex analysis. I’ve co-authored a text complex analysis, and before going to Mexico plan to finish up guest editing a journal that is running a theme issue in that area. I have also co-edited and contributed to two books relating mathematics and the Christian faith: Mathematics in a Postmodern Age: A Christian Perspective (Eerdmans, 2001), and Mathematics Through the Eyes of Faith (HarperOne, 2011). In 2011 an essay I wrote for Christian Scholars Review (“Does Mathematical Beauty Post Problems for Naturalism?”) was selected as one of 25 essays to appear in a volume celebrating the journal’s forty year history. This past summer I completed editing a theme issue in mathematics produced for the journal Perspectives on Science and the Christian Faith of the American Scientific Affiliation. It consisted of response essays to the piece that I wrote entitled “The Matter of Mathematics.

Kay and I are active members of the Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara. For many years I was on the music team, playing the piano. Besides the piano, I enjoy tennis, hiking with Kay and our yellow lab (Dickens), and never turn down a chocolate chip cookie! My biggest joy at Westmont is being part of a team of faculty and staff who get to work with incredibly talented students. Together, I pray that our efforts will help them grow spiritually and intellectually so that they can be effective servant-leaders of God’s Kingdom.