Mathematics at Aquinas College

Mathematics: Hands-On Experience

Drs. McDaniel and Spencer have Mohler-Thompson research grants this year. Dr. Spencer is working with Maria Maguire on strategies in seeding games like Mancala. Dr. McDaniel is working with Tristen Spencer on hyperbolic area constructions and Gregory numbers.

three students

The Math Department sent Beth Herdegen, Tristen Spencer and Oliver Vandenberg to the Lake Michigan Mathematics Competition in April 2016.


2015 Aquinas graduate Gentry Schneider passed the P Actuarial Exam. This is a notoriously difficult math exam, given world-wide. The Society of Actuaries publishes the list of passing names a few pages long. This exam is the first in a sequence of financial math exams.

Phil Novak's "Heart of Mathematics" 2015 graduate Phil Novak ​created graphic designs involving fractals. He did this as part of an Insignis project involving connections between math and art. His piece "Heart of Mathematics" is pictured on the right. 

Professor McDaniel Champions Student Work in new Geometry Book
Aquinas students have recently been published in a new geometry book titled Geometry by Construction: Object Creation and Problem- Solving in Euclidean and Non-Euclidean Geometries by Professor of Mathematics and department co-chair Mike McDaniel, Ph.D. 

Published student researchers included: Noah Davis ‘15, who analyzed squaring the circle in the hyperbolic disk; Jillian Duffey (Russo) ‘10, who worked on hyperbolic polygonal spirals; Nathan Poirier ‘11, who researched Alhazen’s hyperbolic billiard problem; and Kyle Jansens ‘15 and Noah Davis, who worked together on a
do-it-yourself problem for squaring the circle. >Read More

The Aquinas College Department of Mathematics has had many student researchers. Nationwide, 4.6% of math majors get a research experience. At Aquinas, the ratio is close to 12%. The math department looks forward to increasing this percentage.

Group photo of students

Professor Ciganik has built up a strong bond with the William H. Abney Academy. This K- 6 charter school is just a few blocks from Aquinas College and has reading, writing and math as its academic core. Professor Ciganik has run a few Family Math Nights and set up student field experience work for prospective elementary and middle school teachers. The photo at left shows the Aquinas students at Abney Academy, rested and smiling before hundreds of students and family members descended for math activities and demonstrations.
Check out our Math Club page where we brag about our graduates and all their awards. Besides the college awards, our students have some other accomplishments worth mentioning.