Our students find that the problem-solving and communication skills learned in the mathematics major serve them well in whatever career paths they follow.

The Mathematics Program seeks to give students an understanding and appreciation of the beauty and utility of mathematics. Quantitative and analytic skills are increasingly important in economics, biology, and the social sciences, as well as in the physical sciences and engineering.

The study of mathematics at Centre provides the opportunity for the development of clear, logical, and creative thinking that may be applied to a wide variety of problems and interests. In addition to these important problem-solving skills, the mathematics major will learn to present concise, logical arguments in writing and orally. Emphasis is placed on mathematical thinking and precise communication of these thoughts.
Students completing the mathematics major at Centre have a broad range of interests. Many also complete a major in another field. For example, recent mathematics majors have second majors in chemistry, computer science, economics, English, history, physics, and Spanish. Some majors earn secondary teacher certification. Our graduates often decide to continue their academic studies, entering law school, medical school, engineering programs, and M.B.A. programs, as well as graduate school programs in a wide variety of disciplines. Others choose to join the workforce immediately, taking jobs with companies and agencies such as the Census Bureau, the military services, computer companies, public or private schools, and financial institutions.


Read about the MATHEMATICS program:

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Lesley Wiglesworth

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Associate Professor of Mathematics • Chair of the Mathematics Program Mathematics Work Wiseman—103 Work Phone: 859.238.5917

Lesley Wiglesworth joined Centre’s faculty in 2008. She is associate professor of mathematics and was named a Centre Scholar in 2012.

Her research interests are in discrete mathematics and more specifically combinatorics and graph theory. She enjoys studying visibility graphs, a type of graph with applications to circuit layout design. Most recently, Wiglesworth worked on a problem involving the game-acquisition number of graphs with a student at Centre.

She graduated magna cum laude from Transylvania University with a B.A. in mathematics. She earned her M.A. in mathematics and Ph.D. in applied and industrial mathematics from the University of Louisville.

Email: lesley.wiglesworth@centre.edu

File last updated: 5/2/13

Jeffrey Heath

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Associate Professor of Mathematics Mathematics Work Wiseman—102 Work Phone: 859.238.5407

Jeffrey Heath joined Centre’s faculty in 2007, and became associate professor of mathematics in 2013. He was named a Centre Scholar in 2011. His research interests include sports analytics and applied statistics in pharmacology.

Heath graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown College with a B.S. in mathematics. He earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in applied mathematics and scientific computation from the University of Maryland, where he served as a teaching fellow in the mathematics department.

Email: jeffrey.heath@centre.edu

File last updated: 8/7/13

Joel Kilty

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Elizabeth Molloy Dowling Associate Professors of Mathematics Mathematics Work Olin Hall—118 Work Phone: 859.238.5916 Website: Personal website:

Joel Kilty is Elizabeth Molloy Dowling Associate Professors of Mathematics. He joined Centre’s faculty in 2009.

His research interests include boundary value problems on non-smooth domains, harmonic analysis, Navier-Stokes equations, and numerical partial differential equations.

Kilty received a B.A. in mathematics from Asbury College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Kentucky.

Email: joel.kilty@centre.edu

File last updated: 6/26/17

Michael Lamar

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Assistant Professor of Mathematics Centre College Work Olin Hall—117 Work Phone: 859.238.5919

Michael Lamar joined the Centre College faculty in 2016 as assistant professor of mathematics.

Lamar earned a B.S. in physics, a B.A. in mathematics and economics, and an M.Sc. in mechanical engineering from Washington University; an M.Sc. in applied and computational mathematics from Johns Hopkins University; and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Brown University.

Email: michael.lamar@centre.edu

File last updated: 8/3/2016

Alex Martin McAllister

Photo of  Alex Martin McAllister
H. W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Mathematics • Chair of Science and Mathematics Division Mathematics Work Olin Hall—119 Work Phone: 859.238.5408 Website: Personal Website:

Alex McAllister joined the Centre College faculty in 1999, and is H. W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Mathematics. In 2009, he received the Kirk Teaching Award, and has been honored as a Centre Scholar both in 2005 and in 2010. He has prior teaching experience as a visiting assistant professor at Dartmouth College and a graduate instructor at the University of Notre Dame. McAllister was also a research assistant at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

McAllister’s scholarly interests include mathematical logic and foundations, and computability theory. His articles have been published in the Archive for Mathematical Logic, the Journal of Symbolic Logic, and the Mathematical Logic Quarterly. In 2009, Oxford University Press published A Transition to Advanced Mathematics: A Survey Course, which McAllister co-authored with William Johnston of Randolph-Macon College.

McAllister holds a B.S. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Pi Mu Epsilon.

Email: alex.mcallister@centre.edu

File last updated: 8/29/13


EXPERT: Mathematical logic — Foundations and computability theory

Research interests in mathematical logic and foundations and computability theory. Articles published in Archive for Mathematical Logic and the Journal of Symbolic Logic.

Sarah Murray

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Associate Professor of Education • Chair of Education Program Education Work Crounse—454 Work Phone: 859.238.5376

Sarah Murray is an associate professor of education at Centre.

Prior to joining Centre’s faculty in 2006, Murray was support assistant to the Committee for Mathematics Achievement, a state level committee. She has taught at the secondary and college levels for several years. She has worked with teachers and students as a K-12 mathematics resource coordinator, and with the Appalachian Math and Science Partnership.

She received her B.A. in mathematics from Western Kentucky University, an M.A. in mathematics education from Eastern Kentucky University, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Kentucky.

To read about Murray’s published work, click here.

Email: sarah.murray@centre.edu

File last updated: 8/6/13

Prayat Poudel

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Assistant Professor of Mathematics Centre CollegeDivision III Work Olin - 116

Prayat Poudel joined the Centre College faculty as assistant professor of mathematics in 2017.

Poudel’s research interests include gauge theory and low-dimensional topology.

Poudel earned a B.A. in physics and mathematics from Hanover College, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Miami.

Email: prayat.poudel@centre.edu

File last updated: 6/21/17

Ellen Swanson

Photo of  Ellen  Swanson
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Mathematics Work Olin Hall—112 Work Phone: 859.238.6065

Ellen Swanson is an assistant professor of mathematics. She joined Centre’s faculty in 2012 and was named a Centre Scholar in 2017. Before coming to Centre, Swanson was a Postdoctoral Associate at Carnegie Mellon University.

Swanson enjoys working with students to see the applicability of mathematics. She has worked with students on projects ranging from mathematically modeling Alzheimer’s Disease to better understanding the development of aneurysms. Her goal is to offer students opportunities to see connections between math and other disciplines.

Swanson graduated summa cum laude from Wittenberg University with a B.S. in mathematics. She earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in applied mathematics from North Carolina State University.

Email: ellen.swanson@centre.edu

File last updated: 10/16/13


John Wilson

Photo of  John  Wilson
H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Mathematics Mathematics Work Olin Hall—111 Work Phone: 859.238.5409

John Wilson is professor of mathematics at Centre College, where he has taught since 1985. He has held a Stodghill Professorship in Science since its inception in 2004. He currently serves as chair of the Division of Science and Mathematics.

Wilson’s research interests is focused toward using mathematics to develop more efficient and reliable methods of transmitting and storing information. He has encouraged Centre students to collaborate in this research.

Wilson holds a B.S. in mathematics from the University of the South, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He completed M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina.

To view a video about Dr. Wilson’s course that connects mathematics with blown glass ornaments, click here.

Email: john.wilson@centre.edu

File last updated: 8/8/13