Professor David Roeder

Years at the college: 1970 - 2000

B.S. University of New Mexico 1960
M.A. University of California, Berkeley 1962
Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara 1968

For two years David Roeder taught at Dartmouth College as a research Instructor before coming to Colorado College in 1970. His specialties were algebra and number theory. Soon his interest in number theory resulted in an introductory course and a few years later he re-designed it for the sophomore level. This number theory course became the signal course for mathematics majors: students wishing to become mathematics majors were required to take it. It was in this course that the department taught the basics of proof along with the perennially interesting theory of numbers.

In 1975, Roeder took over as chair of the department and proceeded to guide the department through a period of great change. There was much turnover as some faculty were denied tenure and some chose to move on. Over ten years, Roeder, in the words of one Dean of the College, "showed much courage" in rebuilding the mathematics department. He did so by relying on his characteristic thoroughness in any departmental business from hiring new faculty to rearranging the curriculum. This same thoroughness sometimes crept into his informal conversation where he was so persistent in getting the facts that the process became affectionately known as "being Roedered." When he turned the chair over to the next in line, Steven Janke, the department's reputation college-wide was at an all time high.

Roeder also realized the increasing importance of computer science in a liberal arts mathematics department. In 1986, a year after leaving the chair of the department, he attended one of the first IFRICS programs (Institute For Retraining In Computer Science) held at Clarkson University in New York. Over two summers, the institute presented the basics of computer science to experienced mathematicians. After this program, Roeder regularly taught computer science courses.

Starting with the 2000-2001 academic year, Dave Roeder was officially retired from the college with 30 years of service. His retirement was marked by a commissioned portrait made of dominoes (artist: Robert Bosch). He then spent his time listening to music, especially jazz, and indulging his appreciation of trains. Tragedy struck when his wife died, but he later connected with a high-school friend and together they enjoyed the last few years of his life. He died on July 25, 2011.



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