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Bob Fontenot

After graduating from high school in Ville Platte, a small town in Louisiana in the heart of Cajun country, I entered LSU in the summer of 1964. Though I had planned to major in chemistry and go on to become a research scientist, I had the great fortune to be placed in an honors section of calculus and fell in love with mathematics. After graduation from LSU with a mathematics major in 1968, I chose to stay at LSU for graduate study in mathematics because during my junior year I had fallen in love a second time, this time with a lovely and charming young girl, Mary Jo McCormick, to whom I've been married since May, 1969. In graduate school, I concentrated on pure mathematics, with research interests in functional analysis, a marvelous blend of algebraic, topological, and analytic techniques.

After receiving my Ph. D. in 1972, I landed a job in the mathematics department of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. While teaching and doing research there, I worked on broadening my background in mathematics and related areas. I studied and taught operations research, numerical analysis, mathematical statistics, and applied statistics. In 1975, after three years at Oakland, I was ready to see another part of the country and obtained a position at Whitman. I have been here ever since, except for sabbatical leaves at Florida State University and Northern Illinois University, and love this place. I really enjoy students, teaching, working on functional analysis and measure theory research, and collaborating with Larry Anderson at Whitman on problems in applied probability modeling.

My main nonmathematical interest for many years was distance running. Because of arthritis that came on with age, I gave up running and now spend free time reading, traveling, engaging in fitness activities in the gym, and doing volunteer work, especially as a volunteer tax preparer and leader with the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program.