Michael Antila, M.S.
Professor Antila taught at the Montana State University – College of Great Falls for five years before he joined the University of Providence in 2009. His path to higher education included a stint as a statistician for an insurance company, working 9 to 5…and longing for the fun of teaching math that he found as a tutor during his undergraduate work. He has also taught high school math and science in his hometown of Geyser.
In addition to teaching, Professor Antila operates a ranch and farm. He notes that being good at math may seem vastly different from the mechanical work (welding, tractor repair, irrigation, and other farm duties) but he enjoys being able to wear both a blue and a white collar to work each week. When he is able to travel near deep water, he enjoys scuba diving.
BS, Montana Tech/University of Montana
MS, Washington State University
“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
-John Wooden, coach of the UCLA basketball team, 1948-1975
Meredith Hecker, Ph.D.
Dr. Meredith Hecker (Berthelson) joined the faculty in 2015. She previously was the mathematics department chair at Blackfeet Community College on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, where she is an enrolled tribal member. She was also an astrobiology educator for Spectrum Museum in Missoula. She teaches a range of math courses from freshman to senior level with a focus in statistics for the sciences. She has overseen undergraduate research projects as a primary mentor in mathematics and a secondary mentor in biology.
Her research focuses on mathematics pedagogy for elementary education students, and separately the achievement gap in mathematics for American Indian students. Finally, she provides statistics courses for both the RN to BSN program as well as the Infection Prevention and Epidemiology master’s program in the School of Health Professions.
Dr. Hecker was an NSF IGERT Fellow as well as an Alfred P. Sloan Indigenous Fellow (MS and PhD) at the University of Montana. She served as a Faculty Fellow at the National Science Foundation (NSF) at Arlington, Virginia, through the Quality Education for Minorities Fellowship. She helped establish the UP Wellness Club, served as a co-faculty mentor to the UP Amazing Math Race and Math Colloquium, and participates in the UP Science Journal Club.
BS, Montana State University
MIS, University of Montana
PhD, University of Montana
“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.”
-Mark Amend, 20th c. American writer
Stephen Muir, Ph.D.
Dr. Stephen Muir’s dissertation slightly expanded the theory of Gibbs/equilibrium measures in classical lattice models of statistical physics (“Zd actions”). He came to the university in 2016 from Montana Tech, and has also taught at the University of California, Riverside. His mathematics interests center on applications to dynamical systems theory and the mathematical foundations of physics. Recent work includes discrete math and combinatorics and so-called “machine learning” techniques. His Erdos number is 3.
At the University of Providence, he designed a new course on “Contemporary Math” (for liberal arts majors!), and strengthened the sequence between linear algebra and real analysis for math majors. Courses on probability theory, machine learning, and “chaotic” dynamical systems are on the horizon–big, bold, and excellent! He is an active participant in the faculty discussions on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.
In college, Dr. Muir minored in Chinese, and was the flyhalf (quarterback!) for the Whitman Reaper rugby team. He enjoys traditional kung fu training for health and longevity, mountain sports, and gardening.
BA, Whitman College
MA, University of North Texas
PhD, University of North Texas
‘“Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses,” 1842