Jason G. Douma, Ph.D.

Asst VP for Institutional Research/Professor, Mathematics

Dr. Jason Douma is the product of an educational and professional background that is closely tied to the liberal arts tradition. He earned his undergraduate degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, completed his Ph.D. in Mathematics at Northwestern University and has taught at three liberal arts colleges: Lake Forest College, Carthage College and now the University of Sioux Falls. 

Douma’s doctoral thesis was situated in algebraic topology and representation theory. However, over time his professional and scholarly interests have expanded to include publications, presentations and invited talks in finite group theory, game theory, strategic voting, philosophy of mathematics and curricular/pedagogical innovation. He has supervised many undergraduate research projects, five of which have been presented at regional conferences.

A passionate educator, Douma has taught courses throughout the field of mathematics, and he has also taught or co-taught courses in the philosophy of mathematics, issues in science and religion and USF's Writing and Intellectual Traditions sequence. He has been awarded USF’s Outstanding Faculty Award twice, and in 2008 he was selected as recipient of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) North Central Section’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

In his work at the University of Sioux Falls, Douma has served as Natural Sciences Area Chair, Chair of the Faculty Association, Director of the Honors Program, Director of the USF Forum for Conversations in Theology and Science, Faculty Budget Representative and Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees. For the past several years, he has also been a leader in the University's strategic planning and institutional research activities.

Beyond the University of Sioux Falls, Douma served as president of the North Central Section of the MAA in 2010-2011 and as its Information Officer in 2003-2007. At the national level, Douma currently serves as a member of the MAA CUPM Subcommittee for Mathematics Across the Disciplines. He is also a member of the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Mathematics.

Education

  • B.A., Mathematics Major, Music Minor, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1992
  • M.S., Mathematics, Northwestern University (Ill.), 1994
  • Ph.D., Mathematics, Northwestern University (Ill.), 1998

Courses Taught

  • MAT111 - Elementary Algebra
  • MAT112 - College Algebra & Trig
  • MAT113 - College Algebra
  • MAT114 - Functions
  • MAT151 - Nature of Mathematics
  • MAT204 - Calculus I
  • MAT205 - Calculus II
  • MAT222 - Math for Elementary Teachers I
  • MAT223 - Math for Elementary Teachers II
  • MAT233 - Statistics
  • MAT303 - Foundations of Geometry
  • MAT304 - Linear Algebra
  • MAT305 - Abstract Algebra
  • MAT373 - Truth and Beauty: Topics in thePhilosphy of Mathematics**Designated Honors Course**
  • MAT390 - Special Topics in Math: Game Theory
  • MAT406 - Teaching High School Math
  • MAT490 - Senior Seminar
  • NSC300 - Science Colloquium
  • LAR111 - Writing and Intellectual Trad I
  • LAR112 - Writing and Intellectual Trad II
  • MAT294 - The Art, Math, and Culture of Italy and Greece
  • NSC390 - Issues in Science and Religion

Professional Memberships

Mathematical Association of America
Mathematical Association of America, Philosophy of Mathematics Special Interest Group
Mathematical Association of America, Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education Special Interest Group
Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Mathematics

Expertise

  • Philosophy of Mathematics / Finite Group Structures / Game Theory / Mathematics of Voting / Statistics / Mathematics Education (not certified to teach K-12)

Research

Dr. Douma continues to explore the central product structures of finite p-groups, often in the form of supervised undergraduate research. This work has led to several presentations at local and regional conferences.

An expanding area of interest for Dr. Douma lies in the overlap between the philosophy of mathematics and the teaching of mathematics, specifically exploring the relationship between how mathematics is known and how mathematics is learned. His long-range goal is to develop a program for effective teaching of mathematics that draws on our best understanding of mathematical cognition as well as mathematical epistemology.

In what started as a simple curiosity and has since expanded into something more substantial, Dr. Douma has been analyzing the strategic ramifications of "dot voting," a system in which voters are apportioned a fixed number of "dots" that they may allocate in any manner they see fit among the choices being voted on.

Scholarships and Creative Work

Articles
  • Douma, Jason (2007), "Philosophical Intelligences" a potential model for teaching mathematics," Proceedings of the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Mathematics, Vol. 20, pp. 134-141. Articles:Articles
  • Douma, Jason, with John Martino and Stewart Priddy (2000), "On stably decomposing products of classifying spaces," Mathematische Zeitschrift, Vol. 235, pp. 435-453. Articles:Articles
Book Chapters
  • Douma, Jason (2005), "Wrestling with Finite Groups," in Innovative Approaches in the Undergraduate Courses Following Calculus (Richard Maher, ed.), MAA Notes Series #67. Book Chapters:Book Chapters
Lectures
  • "Discussion of Katharine Hayhoe and Andrew Farley's Book: A Climate for Change," USF Forum for Conversations in Theology and Science, December 3, 2012. Lectures:Lectures
  • "The Immateriality of Consciousness," with Dennis Roark, USF Forum for Conversations in Theology and Science, March 17, 2008. Lectures:Lectures
  • "Reflections on Nancey Murphy's 'Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies?'," USF Forum for Conversations in Theology and Science, February 26, 2007. Lectures:Lectures
  • "Buying...or Buy-In?" University of Sioux Falls Opening Convocation, September 7, 2006. Lectures:Lectures
  • "Why 'Abstract' is not a Four-Letter Word," University of Sioux Falls LAR Lecture Series, November 11, 2004. Lectures:Lectures
Presentations
  • "Are We There Yet? Distance and Persistence in the Poincare Model," presented at the MAA Summer Meeting, Madison, Wis., August 2012. Presentations:Presentations
  • "Gotta Have My Dots: Strategies for Dot Voting," invited address at the MAA North Central Section spring meeting, April 2009. Presentations:Presentations
  • "Philosophical Intelligences: a potential model for teaching mathematics," presented at the annual meeting of the CSHPM, July 2007. Presentations:Presentations
  • "Do mathematicians really mean what they say?" invited address at Math on the Northern Plains, April 2005. Presentations:Presentations
  • "What do Kant, Feldman, and the GRE have in common?" invited address at the MAA North Central Section Fall Meeting, October 2004. Presentations:Presentations
  • "Old Group Decompositions in a New Light," presented at the MAA North Central Section Fall Meeting, October 2003. Presentations:Presentations
  • "Beyond Practicality: creating a course that strives to be profound," presented at the MAA Summer Meeting, Boulder, Colo., August 2003. Presentations:Presentations
  • "Wrestling with Finite Groups: Abstract Algebra need not be Passive Sport," presented at the MAA Summer Meeting, Madison, Wis., August 2001. Presentations:Presentations
  • "Splitting classifying spaces of products: an algebraic perspective," presented at a special session of the AMS Central Section meeting, March 1998. Presentations:Presentations

Service/Volunteer Work

Dakota Alliance Soccer Club

Board member, team manager and youth soccer coach

First Presbyterian Church

Elder, adult education leader, worship leader and musician

Sioux Falls Math Teachers Circle

Presenter and participant

Sioux Falls Roosevelt Band Parents Association

Board member