I grew up on a family farm in rural North Dakota, where I graduated from Halliday High School in a class of nine students. (Yes, this was the local public high school.) Along the way, I played saxophone in the band and was a basketball statistician. I was also big into FFA, winning six individual state championships and two team titles. At one point, I could identify just about any tree that was hardy enough to grow in North Dakota. I spent the summer of 1998 on campus at North Dakota State University as part of the North Dakota Governor's School mathematics program. Two years later, as a National Merit Scholar and alumnus of the United States Senate Youth Program, I enrolled at NDSU as a Computer Science and Mathematics major. After spending summers in the mathematics Research Experience for Undergraduates program at Louisiana State University and the Director's Summer Program at the National Security Agency, I earned a B.S. in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science in May 2004. I also completed the University Honors Program.
In August 2004, I began the mathematics Ph.D. program at the Georgia Institute of Technology as a VIGRE Trainee. My involvement on campus focused on the Graduate Student Government Association, Honor Advisory Council, and High School Mathematics Competition. Details of my involvement and honors can be found on my curriculum vitae. In May 2010, I graduated with my Ph.D. My dissertation, entitled Some Results on Linear Discrepancy for Partially Ordered Sets, was written under the supervision of William T. Trotter.
Working with Tom Trotter, I have developed a textbook for Georgia Tech's junior-level applied combinatorics course MATH 3012. The book is available under a CreativeCommons license, and source code is available as part of my interest in Open Educational Resources. I am also co-editor of the PreTeXt edition of Ken Bogart's Combinatorics through Guided Discovery, which is also an open source book available online. Both projects are endorsed by the American Institute of Mathematics' Open Textbook Initiative.
In September 2010, I moved to London to take up a Marshall Sherfield Fellowship. For my fellowship, conducted research in combinatorics with Graham R. Brightwell in the Department of Mathematics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. While at the LSE, I had the opportunity to travel to give talks or attend conferences in Haifa, Israel; Exeter, United Kingdom; Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Budapest, Hungary; San Diego, California; and Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. I also spent a week visiting King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where I conducted workshops on teaching and learning for faculty from across the university. Much of my free time was spent playing or refereeing tag rugby for Try Tag Rugby. (Think flag football, only rugby.)
Fall 2012 brought me back to the Heartland, as I assumed a three-year appointment as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My stay in Lincoln was to be shorter than anticipated, however, as I moved to Lexington, Virginia, in the summer of 2013 to begin a tenure-track appointment in the Department of Mathematics at Washington and Lee University.
When the Mathematics Genealogy Project moved to NDSU from Minnesota State University-Mankato in 2002, I became the Project's Technical Director. In this capacity, I was responsible for maintaining the website and server. Over time, I moved on to serve as Assistant Director and Interim Co-Managing Director. In February 2010, I was named to succeed founder Harry B. Coonce as the Project's Managing Director. I continue to lead the programming for the website, but have added ultimate responsibility for the Project to my portfolio. I oversee the graduate students who manage the data as well as the assistant director in charge of making the posters we sell to support the Project.
In my free time, I enjoy travelling (especially in business or first class on long-haul flights to exotic destinations, all paid for with miles and points), college football, international rugby, and baking. I bake a few pies every year, and I'm proud to say I've never bought pie crust in the store. I've also made croissants and puff pastry in addition to a variety of cakes, cookies, tarts, and candies. My other major hobby is photography. You can see a collection of my work online. My photographs have won two best in show awards, and one image was selected for a juried exhibition.