Presented by Dr. Peter Andrews, chair of the mathematics and computer science department; Dr. Steve Daniels, chair of the physics department; Dr. Katie Lewandowski, assistant professor of geology; Dave Linton, instructor of physics and astronomy; and Dr. Peter Wiles, associate professor of math
Mathematics and science school curricula changed focus in the 1960s. Following the launch of Sputnik by the Soviets in 1957, there was the fear that the U.S. was starting to lag behind the Soviet Union in mathematics and science. In reaction, scholarships and loans helped sponsor the education of academically gifted students, particularly within science and mathematics. The “New Math” curricula drastically changed the content of mathematics for many school children. Finally, the creation of NASA generated increased emphasis on the space program in secondary education. In addition to changes in the school curricula, there was also a big change in the public’s approach to the environment. With the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962, the environmental movement took root. Central to that was concern over pollution in the waterways and air. This was a grassroots movement.
Peter Andrews was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1950, so his teenage years, all of his high school education and much of his college experience took place in the 1960s. After graduating from the University of Toronto in 1971, he received a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Maryland in 1975. Since then he has taught mathematics and/or computer science at a variety of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada before coming to Eastern in 1992. He is currently chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.
Steven Daniels is chair of the Department of Physics at Eastern. His academic interests include optics and lasers. He earned a B.A. from Swarthmore College and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. In addition, he is an alumni of Eastern with an MBA degree.
Katie Lewandowski Ph.D., is a geologist in the Department of Geology/Geography. She has been at EIU since 2009 and regularly teaches courses within the geology major, general education classes and the science teaching methods class for pre-service science teachers. Her research focuses on paleontology, paleoclimatology and paleoceanography. She also has an interest in science education. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, two dogs and cat.
David Linton is an instructor of physics and astronomy at Eastern. He has an M.S. from the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque. He was the recipient of the 1988 Illinois Professor of the Year award, sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Peter Wiles is an associate professor of mathematics at Eastern, where he teaches courses in elementary, middle level and secondary mathematics education. He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Pacic Lutheran University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.