Mathematics, Engineering & Computer Science
Division Faculty

Loras College Faculty Robert Keller, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Division Chair of Mathematics, Engineering, & Computer Science
563-588-7015 | Robert.Keller@loras.edu
 
Robert Keller is Associate Professor of Mathematics at Loras College and Chair of the Division of Mathematics, Engineering, and Computer Science. Rob has taught at Loras since earning his Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1999 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. From 2000-2004 he taught 5th- and 6th-grade Dubuque public school students part time through the Talented and Gifted program. For the past decade, Rob has delivered professional development in mathematics, and more recently in STEM education, for practicing K-12 teachers. These have included workshops for high school teachers transitioning to a standards-based beginning algebra series, and more than six years as a lead organizer and presenter for the Loras College Lesson Study Project. Funded by several large grants, this project was a successful partnership involving the Mississippi Bend and Keystone Area Education Agencies and educators from Loras College that ultimately served hundreds of teachers throughout eastern Iowa. Currently, he is co-director of a three-year Title IIA-funded project which seeks to build capacity to deliver integrated middle school science and mathematics content. More than 50 middle school teachers from six school districts are currently involved in this unique project. Rob has also been active in the education and formation of future K-12 teachers. He co-directed the development of a two-course sequence in mathematics content for K-8 teachers at Loras College (funded by a Preparing Mathematicians to Educate Teachers grant awarded through the NSF and Mathematics Association of America), which he now regularly teaches. He has collaborated with Bridgette Stevens (formerly at the University of Northern Iowa) on testing methods to promote the integration of reflective practices in mathematics courses for elementary teachers, work that was funded by an inter-institutional grant from UNI. In addition, from 2002-2004 Rob led efforts with Joyce Becker of Luther College and Catherine Miller of the University of Northern Iowa to update Iowa state requirements for pre-service Secondary Math Education majors (with funding by grants from the Regents Academy and UNI).
Loras College Faculty Susan Crook, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
563-588-7794 | Susan.Crook@loras.edu
 
Susan Crook is currently finishing up her Ph.D. in Numerical Analysis at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on curve matching, which has real-world applications in object recognition and assembly. In addition to numerical analysis, Professor Crook has interests in Matrix Theory and Applied Linear Algebra. While she enjoys research, her real passion is teaching. She is especially interested in inquiry-based learning and would love to discuss this pedagogy with anyone! In her small amount of free time, she enjoys baking, exploring Dubuque and the surrounding areas, reading and trying to catch up on sleep.
Loras College Faculty Jacob Heidenreich, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Mathematics
563-588-7793 | Jacob.Heidenreich@loras.edu
 
Prof. Heidenreich’s training is in mathematics and philosophy, centering on the field of Mathematical Logic. He has a strong interest in the historical development of mathematics, as well as the philosophical issues that have arisen during that development. In the past, he has worked on developing undergraduate research and the senior experience in the math program at Loras College. He developed the system by which math majors engaged in undergraduate research and present that research to their peers and professors. He also was responsible for beginning a tradition of student attendance and presentation at undergraduate conferences in mathematics. Recently, his interest is in the use of games in the classroom to enable deep student learning. He studies good game design, and how those design principles can be used to design various assignments and activities. He also develops games for use as teaching tools in the classroom.
Loras College Faculty Angela Kohlhaas, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
563-588-7152 | Angela.Kohlhaas@loras.edu
Curriculum Vitae
 
Dr. Kohlhaas received her PhD in mathematics in 2010 from the University of Notre Dame, where she studied commutative algebra. She enjoys finding ways of visualizing abstract algebraic and geometric concepts, and her students spend an inordinate amount of time playing with Play-Doh as a result. She also loves engaging students in undergraduate research projects, with topics ranging from the mathematics of origami to symmetries of Sudoku. She recently developed a January term course investigating the mathematics of musical compositions and perspective art which she is excited to be teaching in January 2015. Outside of mathematics, Professor Kohlhaas can often be found playing Ultimate Frisbee, at the piano, or cooking spicy food.
Loras College Faculty Brenda Litka, M.S.
Associate Professor of Math
Associate Professor of Information Technology
563-588-7467 | Brenda.Litka@loras.edu
Loras College Faculty Kenneth McLaughlin, Ph.D.
Professor of Physics
Professor of Engineering
563-588-7581 | Kenneth.McLaughlin@loras.edu
 
Dr. McLaughlin grew up in the South; his dad was in the Air Force, so they moved a few times between bases in Texas and Arkansas. They raised horses, cattle, pigs and goats: he could ‘shoe’ his horse by the time he was thirteen with scars from early mishaps. His Boy Scout troop was a fully ‘mounted patrol’ with their horses accompanying them everywhere: they rode in state fairs and parades. Growing up in rural settings, he became fascinated with the night sky. When he learned that we can decipher what the stars are made of by analyzing their starlight, he was hooked on interpreting the natural world in terms of the atoms and molecules for which things are made of: the periodic chart contains 92 natural elements with only a handful that are in abundance and yet nature is incredibly diverse: it is how those few atoms are put together that creates this diversity. He finds this fascinating and continues to study the connection between the microscopic atoms with the macroscopic that we observe with our direct senses. Dr. McLaughlin spends his summers and many spring and winter breaks investigating how atoms and molecules behave by running experiments at Berkeley National Laboratory and he spends a lot of sleepless nights under the stars in our campus observatory. This work has been funded by multiple National Science Foundation grants as well as multiple Iowa College Foundation grants along with grants from Verizon and the Alliant Energy Foundation. Multiple Loras College students have traveled with him to Berkeley, taking an intimate part in planning and accomplishing their experiments as well as co-authoring and presenting at national conferences; many have been consumed by similar curiosities and have gone on to graduate school; multiple Loras College students have undertaken astrophysics research with him and have presented at the Iowa Academy of Sciences annual meeting. He has additional interests in art, architecture and their histories: he was fascinated by pencil drawings in his youth and contemplated architecture as a way to blend his technical leanings with creative endeavors; however, his interest in atoms eventually pulled him to pursue science and engineering over architecture. He still enjoys drawing and photography and has melded this creative pursuit with his technical interests by pursuing astrophotography. He loves to photograph the night sky: star patterns and constellations on a broad field-of-view as well as the Moon, nebulae and galaxies through a telescope.
Loras College Faculty Clark Merkel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Engineering
563-588-7186 | Clark.Merkel@loras.edu
 
Clark Merkel is an associate professor of engineering at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He received his BS and MS in mechanical engineering and his PhD in engineering from North Dakota State University. His areas of interest and study include mechatronics, robotic, mechanics, manufacturing, and engineering modeling.
 
Loras College Faculty Jonas Meyer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
563-588-7582 | Jonas.Meyer@loras.edu
 
Dr. Meyer’s teaching includes courses in college algebra, pre-calculus, calculus, guided research and real analysis. His research background is mainly in mathematical analysis, more specifically in functional analysis and operator algebras, and he is interested in the interplay between algebra and analysis. Jonas enjoys rock and roll music.
Loras College Faculty Danial Neebel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Engineering
Associate Professor of Computer Science
563-588-7815 | Danial.Neebel@loras.edu
Loras College Faculty Matthew Rissler, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
563-588-7792 | Matthew.Rissler@loras.edu
 
Dr. Rissler is originally from Virginia, but spent nine years in Indiana at Goshen College and the University of Notre Dame earning degrees in Mathematics, Physics, and Applied Math. Since 2008 he has been at Loras College teaching all of these and Statistics. His classes tend to involve using laptops to complete activities and modeling projects. Rissler’s research interests lie in the areas of agent-based modeling, statistics and utilizing computers in teaching Mathematics. Current and recent senior projects he has advised include simulating battles between orcs and elves (if you like LotR, or humans and zombies if you don’t), statistical modeling of production by players in the WNBA, and looking at streaks in baseball at the college level.
 
Loras College Faculty Kristen Stauffer-Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Engineering
563-588-7122 | Kristen.Thompson@loras.edu
Loras College Faculty Michael Thompson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Associate Professor of Information Technology
563-588-7570 | Michael.Thompson@loras.edu
 
After growing up in suburban Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; Dr. Michael Thompson attended Central College in Pella, Iowa where he graduated with a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science as well as a minor in Philosophy.  After graduating, he worked as a programmer for Advanced Technologies Group, Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa.  He then attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received his Ph.D. in Computer Sciences, with an emphasis on Optimization.  While there, Dr. Thompson researched methods of finding the minimum of a nonconvex function, with applications in protein-ligand docking.  His current research interests include applications in Artificial Intelligence using Support Vector Machines and other techniques relating to business analytics, specifically in how they relate to sports.
Loras College Faculty

Daniel Willis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Mathematics
563-588-7708 | Daniel.Willis@loras.edu
 
Dr. Willis is primarily interested in computational physics and mathematics education. He frequently teaches Math for Elementary Teachers, Finite Math, Calculus, Differential Equations, Numerical Analysis, Linear Algebra, Discrete Math and Math Portfolio. Dr. Willis is currently writing a textbook on the subject of ordinary differential equations. His other interests include bridge, chess, guitar, reading, writing and his two cats.

© 2013 LORAS COLLEGE  800.245.6727
1450 ALTA VISTA ST., DUBUQUE IA 52001
HOME | NEWS/EVENTS | DIRECTORY | SCHOLARSHIPS/FINANCIAL AID | SUPPORT LORAS | POLICIES | SITE MAP
Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission