Math and Physics Alumni Kickoff Homecoming Weekend

by Steve Charles

October 6, 2006

Time — both surviving it and traveling through it—was the theme at Goodrich Hall Friday, as Wabash's mathematics and physics departments hosted alumni for noon-hour presentations.

Jim Daniel ’62, Director of Actuarial Science at the University of Texas at Austin, returned to campus to speak with students about actuarial mathematics—what actuaries do, where they work, and what it takes to become one. He also met later with students interested in pursuing a career as an actuary.

Daniel, who was also awarded on honorary degree at Wabash in 1987, intimated that it was around that time that he altered his career trajectory

"I believe people thought at that time that I a rising star in college administration," Daniel said. "But at some point, I actually turned into a teacher, and those years have been the highlight of my career.

"In a way, for the past 17 years I've been repaying my Wabash faculty who devoted themselves to teaching and really caring about their students and what they have gone on to do," Daniel observed.

For the physics department, Indiana State University professor Joe West ’88 updated faculty and students on his latest ideas regarding special relativity and a hypothetical clock which could track those traveling through time.

Professor West noted the topic was one that has "haunted" his brain since he began studying physics as a Wabash freshman with Professor Vern Easterling.


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