Stacy Hoehn, Ph.D.

“Thomas Edison once said, ‘Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration,’ and in no discipline is that more true than in mathematics. One of my favorite parts of my job is helping students of all levels to learn how to confront challenges head-on and put in the …‘perspiration’ needed to achieve more than they ever dreamed possible.”

Title

Assistant professor of mathematics

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., University of Notre Dame – Notre Dame, IN
  • M.S., University of Notre Dame – Notre Dame, IN
  • B.S., Xavier University – Cincinnati, OH

Year joined Franklin

2012

Expertise

One of my favorite parts of mathematics is that there is always more to learn! For this reason, I have a wide array of interests within the field of mathematics, ranging from topology and probability to big data and the use of technology in mathematics. These varied interests have led to a variety of projects with my students, including using topology to plan the motion of an automated guided vehicle in a factory, using MATLAB software to simulate the game of euchre to try to develop winning strategies for that game, and analyzing huge datasets from hospitals around the nation to determine trends in health care.

As a woman who has spent her life studying mathematics and computer science myself, I also have a special interest in encouraging women and members of other underrepresented groups to pursue a career in a STEM field and then supporting them once they make the decision to pursue a STEM field. Why is this important? A lack of women in STEM means that the perspectives and creative insights of half of the world’s population aren’t being heard, causing our nation to miss out on some incredible opportunities for new technologies and innovative discoveries. I am doing my part to change this one female mathematician, engineer, or computer scientist at a time.

What types of extracurricular and co-curricular activities are available for math and computing students?

A key part of the Franklin College experience is what happens outside of the classroom.  For example, once a semester the department of mathematics and computing organizes a Shadow Day trip to a business or graduate school in the surrounding area so that students can get a glimpse of how they may use mathematics and computing after graduation and so that they can start to network with potential future employers or program directors as early as a first-year. Approximately once a month, we also organize a colloquium presentation on a topic of interest to current students, such as how to mathematically create a winning NCAA bracket or highlights from current students’ internships or research projects.  On the social side, the Math and Computing Club also plans events each month, ranging from math trivia gameshows and Pi Day festivities to origami and movie nights, and math majors can routinely be found working and hanging out in the Math Study Center in the evenings.

I want to become an actuary. Is that something Franklin College would prepare me for?

Yes! Starting in the 2018-2019 academic year, Franklin College will be offering a major in Actuarial Science. This interdisciplinary major consisting of coursework in mathematics, statistics and business will help students develop the quantitative skills needed to assess and manage risk, especially in a financial setting. In addition to developing these key quantitative skills, Actuarial Science majors will take courses designed to prepare them for the first two preliminary actuarial exams (Exam 1/P Probability and Exam 2/FM Financial Mathematics). Our long-standing degrees in Quantitative Analysis and Applied Mathematics provide additional options for students interested in applying their quantitative skills to a variety of settings, providing more career flexibility for those who decide not to become an actuary.
I have actually taken a special interest in students who are thinking about an actuarial career recently. While I am very happy in my current career as a math professor, I have prepared for the first two actuarial exams in probability and financial mathematics so that I can give future students interested in taking the exams some first-hand advice from my own experiences.
There are many routes to becoming an actuary, but if you know that you want to become one, then the faculty in the math department (like myself) would be happy to help you do whatever it takes to reach that goal.

Selected Professional Accomplishments

Honors and Awards

Project NExT Fellow, 2012
National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2009-2012, and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, 2005-2009
University of Notre Dame Eli J. and Helen Shaheen Graduate School Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research, 2009

Professional Service and Experiences

Coordinator of the Indiana NExT Professional Development Program, 2012-2016.
Invited Motivational Speaker for the EDGE (Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education) Program, North Carolina State University, June 18, 2010.
Participant of the EDGE (Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education) program, Spelman College, Summer 2004.
Applied Research Mathematician, Director’s Summer Program, National Security Agency, Summer 2003.
Participant of the SUMSRI (Summer Undergraduate Mathematical Sciences Research Institute) Research Experience for Undergraduates Program, Miami University, Summer 2002.

Selected Presentations

“Computer Simulations as a Lens into the Mathematics of Crazy Eights and Farkle.” Recreational Mathematics: Puzzles, Card Tricks, Games, Gambling and Sports, Contributed Paper Session, MathFest, Chicago, IL, July 2017.
“Cookies and Cars in Calculus.” CAMP: Calculus Applied Mathematics Projects, Contributed Paper Session, MathFest, Columbus, OH, August 2016.
“Applications of Topology to Chemistry, Digital Image Processing, and Motion Planning.” Departmental Colloquium, Xavier University, November 2013.
“Monopoly and Mathematics: Linear Algebra in Action.” Departmental Colloquium, Franklin College, April 2013.
“Hands-On Activities in a College Geometry Course.” Touch It, Feel It, Learn It: Tactile Learning Activities in the Undergraduate Mathematics Classroom, MAA Contributed Paper Session, Joint Math Meetings, San Diego, CA, January 2013.

What Students Say

“Professor Hoehn was one of the biggest factors in my decision to attend Franklin College. Soon after being was accepted, I received an email from her about Franklin’s math department and if I had any questions about the school or curriculum, showing just how much she cares about each of her students. I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to have her as a professor and my adviser.” – Sydney Stuckwisch ’19

In My Spare Time…

I enjoy spending my free time with my husband, Paul, and my sons, Benjamin and William, taking advantage of what Franklin and the surrounding area have to offer. You can often find us at the Historic Artcraft Theater taking in a classic film, hiking one of the trails in nearby Brown County State Park, or playing at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.