J’Lee Bumpus, Austin College associate professor of mathematics, will present “The Mathematics of Blockchain: Ensuring Data is Verifiable, Unchangeable, and Anonymous” on November 11 at 5 p.m. via Zoom. The lecture is part of the Bernice S. Melvin Sabbatical Series hosted by the College’s Robert and Joyce Johnson Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in Teaching.
Pre-registration is required for the event, using the campus link. After registration, a confirmation will include needed information regarding the Zoom lecture.
Bumpus, a 2001 graduate of Austin College, joined the math faculty in 2006 after earning his master’s degree and doctorate at Texas Tech University. He currently is the chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. In spring 2020, he was installed in the Ray C. Fish Professorship in Mathematics.
Teaching at his alma mater, Bumpus enjoys as a faculty member the same things that benefited him as a student. “The small class sizes at Austin College allow me to get to know each of my students,” he said. “This also allows me to share with each student the creativity, beauty, complexity, and, yes, difficulty that makes math such an intriguing discipline.”
Austin College’s Robert and Joyce Johnson Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in Teaching is directed by Dr. Andrea Overbay, associate professor of mathematics. Within the mission of the center is the encouragement of “bold exploration of intellectual frontiers” and “fostering lively intellectual dialogue within and across academic disciplines.”
The Bernice S. Melvin Sabbatical Series honors the late Professor Emerita of French Dr. Bernice Melvin, who taught at Austin College from 1980 until her retirement in 2015. As a department chair, dean of Humanities, and Johnson Center director, Bernice was an indefatigable supporter of faculty autonomy and research, and fostered a collegial environment of scholarly creativity and innovation across all Austin College divisions and disciplines. She loved to hear her colleagues discuss their research and sabbatical experiences and was a driving force behind the “Tuesdays With” faculty presentations that were a precursor to the Johnson Center’s Sabbatical Series. She died earlier this year.
The Johnson Center schedules a number of events throughout the year, with presentations by Austin College faculty and guest lecturers.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 50 percent of students identifying as persons of color. The residential student body of approximately 1,300 students and more than 100 expert faculty members allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. Related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA), Austin College cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. The College, founded in 1849, is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.