Ken Smith

I have always wanted to be a scientist, to explore the incredible universe around me. Raised by university teachers, I became a Christian in high school, went one year to a bible college, before realizing a calling to being a professor at a *secular* university. I love research and teaching; I thoroughly enjoy students at every level, from high school to doctoral students. I promote undergraduate research whenever I can. I think I set a record for Cs in graduate school (7!) but I finally figured out how to study. I've tinkered twice with administrative jobs but I keep circling back to the classroom where I am more successful. I met my wife through Campus Crusade at Western Illinois. We have ministered in a variety of settings but most recently are involved with international students at Sam Houston State University.

My Life

Favorite Quote

“We must be global Christians, with a global view, because our God is a global God.” John Stott

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood....
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security." Benjamin Franklin

Friends describe me

as a nice guy, but "a talker"

My hobbies

Traveling. Math. Reading. Math. Soccer. Math

Fantasy dinner guests

Dorothy Sayers, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien

Best advice I ever received

"It is OK to make mistakes -- but try not to make the same one *twice*."

My undergrad alma mater

Western Illinois University

My worst subject in school

I'm not sure I had a *worst* subject? I liked everything but didn't study.

In college I drove

a VW bug.

If I weren't a professor, I would

be an astronomer or a meteorologist. Or maybe a science-fiction writer living on my wife's income.

Favorite city

Fort Collins, Colorado

Favorite coffee

Starbucks Verona

Nobody knows I

As a mathematician I recognize the paradox in filling out a PUBLIC form that asks for "something nobody knows about me."

My latest accomplishment

Growing a graduate program at my current university! (Then stepping down at the right time afterwards.)

Current Research

Algebraic combinatorics, especially the study of difference sets. Graph theory.