Bob Willenbring, PhD
- Associate Professor of Mathematics
- Chair of Math and Math Education
I have loved math and learning since a very young age. When I started college, I thought I would become an actuary, but I found that I loved combinatorics, the math of counting and looking at patterns. I greatly enjoy anything that utilizes discrete math, such as probability, computers, board games, computer games, and so on. Now the longest serving member of the math faculty, I work to continue the math program's legacy of training math teachers and professionals rooted in the Benedictine values. I am from Minnesota and my wife, Amanda, teaches high school math. We have two daughters.
Why I’m At Mary
Mary continues to provide a well-rounded, values-based education that focuses on servant leadership. Math is about critical and abstract thinking, tools needed for problem solving. Put these together, and something special happens. So I relish the chance to mentor students who go out into the modern world and make a positive difference in their communities.
My expertise is in algebraic and enumerative combinatorics. At the undergraduate level, some of my favorite topics include probability, discrete math, programming, the math of computers, numerical analysis, and linear/abstract algebra. I have taught most of the math curriculum and think I'm at my best when I'm actively teaching problem solving or computer skills by example in class.
RNA Secondary Structure, Permutations, and Statistics
The Mobius Function of Generalized Factor Order
Discrete Morse Theory and the Consecutive Pattern Poset
Critical Thinking in Mathematics
Math and Basketball - How Statistics is Changing Sports in the 21st Century
PhD: Michigan State University, 2011
BA: St. John's University, 2005