James Jones - General Information

Contact Information

Title James Jones

Professor of Mathematics

Office

C223 - located with the Business and Technology Division. In case you've been here for a while and don't recognize the name, the division was previously known as the Occupational and Technical Division, before that known as the Occupational & Technical Career Programs West (OTCPW), and prior to that as the Industrial Technology & Mathematics Division. It is at the north end of the upstairs center hallway.

Phone

Web Address

http://people.richland.edu/james/

Email Address

james@richland.edu

Teaching Schedule and Office Hours

I am in class during these times. Office hours are not required during the summer term, so you should try to catch me before, after, or between classes or make an appointment to meet with me. All of my classes are in room S137.

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
Math 113 - 01
10:00 - 11:50
Math 113 - 01
10:00 - 11:50
Math 113 - 01
10:00 - 11:50
Math 113 - 01
10:00 - 11:50
 
Math 160 - 01
12:00 - 1:50
Math 160 - 01
12:00 - 1:50
Math 160 - 01
12:00 - 1:50
Math 160 - 01
12:00 - 1:50
 

Education / Experience

Associates Degree

I graduated Richland Community College with an A.S. degree with a Mathematics concentration. Yes, that's a right, I'm a product of the institution I went to school at. None of my math professors are here anymore, but we've got a new group of dedicated faculty.

I went to Richland on a JETS-TEAMS scholarship after winning the mathematics competition. It's now called WYSE and if you're a high school student who gets a chance to participate in their academic challenge, please do. The 2005 challenge was held at Richland on February 2. Tests can be taken in mathematics, English, chemistry, physics, engineering graphics, and computer science. You get a chance at winning a year's worth of tuition.

Bachelors Degree

I then went to Eastern Illinois University where I received a B.A. in Mathematics with the Teacher Certification option. I had planned on teaching high school mathematics. That was until I student taught at Stephen Decatur, HS. It was a big shock for me since I had grown up in a small school district.

I joined the R.C.C. staff immediately after receiving my B.A. as the Study Assistance Center Coordinator and Adjunct Mathematics Faculty.

Masters Degree

I held both jobs for three years and continued my education at Sangamon State University. I became a conditional full-time Mathematics Instructor in August 1992 pending the completion of my Master's degree. I received my M.A. in Mathematical Sciences from Sangamon State University in May 1993. Soon after my graduation, they shut down the upper level mathematics program at SSU.

Rank

I received tenure at Richland in 1995. I received a promotion to Assistant Professor of Mathematics in the Spring 1996 semester. I was promoted to Associate Professor of Mathematics in the Spring 2000 semester. I became a full Professor of Mathematics in the Spring 2003 semester.

Additional Courses

I took a class in statistical computing at the University of Illinois, Springfield, in the summer of 1999. This course taught SPSS and SAS.

In May 2001, I attended an ICTCM short course on using the web in mathematics on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. I attended another ICTCM short course on using multimedia in mathematics in May 2002 in Phoenix, AZ. I attended yet a third ICTCM short course on Assessment and Real World Applications of Mathematics in August 2004 in Providence, RI.

Professional

I am a member of the Illinois Mathematics Association of Community Colleges (IMACC) where I maintain the web pages for the organization.

I am a member of the International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics (ICTCM) and attend their short course conferences when opportunity allows.

I have the extra duty assignment as the Internet Systems Specialist for the College. Among other things, this means I am responsible for keeping the Internet up and going at Richland. I'm not responsible for the web pages anymore, but I am working behind the scenes to provide technical support.

For several years I served on the technology advisory committee for the Maroa-Forsyth school district. They either haven't met in a year or they stopped inviting me to the meetings, so I'm not sure if I'm still part of that or not.

I was selected by the students as the Faculty Speaker for the 2004 Richland Commencement ceremony. I talked on how mathematics is like life as both require you to look at the big picture and maintain balance.

I was selected as the Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year in 2005. Luckily, there's no speech required with this honor, but I do get to help read the names of students at graduation.

Personal

Physical

Height is 186.69 cm if I stand up straight, but call myself 185.42 cm since I never stand up straight. In August 1999, I went to the doctor's office for a physical. Rather than measuring my height, the nurse simply asked how tall I was (as a statistics instructor, this method of data collection really bothered me). Soon after that, I had a body composition test performed where our fitness instructor was kind enough to guesstimate my height. He said it was the height I've been claiming (even down to the 1/2" I throw in), so I feel better knowing that I haven't been misrepresenting my height for all these years.

Weight on 1/28/2001 I used to say that my mass was about 83.01 kg, but I didn't have any scales to verify that. But, I finally broke down and bought scales so that I could weigh my garage door. Feeling that buying scales just to weigh the garage door was a waste of money (how often does the weight of the garage door fluctuate?), I decided to weigh myself. When I first stepped on them, it came in at 240 lbs. I yelled "No Way!" (literally) as I had never been above 200 lbs in my life1.. Then I took the scales off the plush carpet and into the bathroom where the floor is tiled and was much more comfortable with the reading. Still not entirely happy, as it now read 86.36 kg, but much happier than when it read 240 lbs. My weight had gone up considerably since the picture, but it is back around that value now (April 2005). I leave this photo out there as a reminder of my glory days and I don't have those scales anymore to take another photo.

Eye color is blue, when not red from lack of sleep. I used to wear glasses, but I had the lasik eye surgery performed in August 2001. My eyesight is now 20/20 with some astigmatism in the left eye. With the glasses, my eyesight was 20/15, so things are actually a little bit blurrier than they used to be, but at least I can see when I get up in the morning.

As for general health, I had a complete physical including lab work and a body composition test performed during the fall of 1999. I came in at 18% body fat. For males my age and height, 13-19% is normal, so I guess that's a good thing. Actually, all of the results from all of the tests came back without any problems, so I'm in better shape than I thought I was.

Personality

Relaxing on the sand dunes My temperament used to be melancholy with about equal parts of phlegmatic and choleric, but very little sanguine. Over the last several years, the choleric has diminished and the phlegmatic become more dominant. So, at this time, I would have to say I'm a mel-phleg borderline phleg-mel. Generally, that means that I am analytical, self-sacrificing, gifted, calm, easy going, and rarely angered (that last one is not a challenge). The photo is of me relaxing on Mt. Baldy, a sand dune at the Indiana Dunes.

I like to think that I have a sense of humor. I do know that you need to be able to laugh at yourself so that when other people laugh with you, it really is with instead of at. I try to convey this attitude in class and keep things light. Hey, people have enough anxiety about mathematics anyway without making it boring and stressful to boot.

My Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is ISTP - Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perception. Internally, I tend to be ISTJ (Judgment). I scored a 0 on the feeling aspect of the indicator. I used to be kind of proud of that, but not anymore. A score of 0 means that I prefer to think rather than feel, it doesn't mean that I don't feel. However, from June 2001 (or maybe before) until December 2003, I didn't allow myself to feel. I kept myself busy with work so that I wouldn't have to deal with things. That has changed and now I'm ready to feel and love again. If I can give any advice to people in similar circumstances, it would be to allow yourself to be complete and not try to shut out parts of who you are.

In April 2004, I took the Keirsey Temperament Sorter II, which is a lot like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. On this shorter version (only 70 questions), my preferences were ISTX (X meaning a tie between the two). The nice thing about this is that now, after five months of allowing myself to feel again, I did mark 20% of the questions indicating a feeling preference instead of 0% as before. That just makes me feel good.

Since many people ask what these letters stand for, here is a little more information. First of all, realize that these are continuums and very few people completely exhibit one preference over the other.

I've taken a couple of spiritual gifts inventories. In 1997, I scored highest in exhortation, helps, and leadership, followed closely by administration, hospitality, prophecy, and service. In 2000, I scored highest in leadership, helps, teaching, wisdom, exhortation, giving, and knowledge. We won't go into what I scored lowest on ... suffice it to say that one can't be gifted at all things.

Interests

Give the World a Smile I like to play the piano. Actually, I would like to be able to play the piano correctly - as opposed to as hard and as fast as I can. The picture to the right is of me playing "Give the World a Smile", my mom's favorite song. There's no audio, but it sounds better that way.

I like to play softball and other sports, but am not much for watching. I enjoy playing board games with friends, but don't do enough of it. Several years ago a student challenged me to a game of tennis. She had practiced and knew what she was doing, I had not. I'm not allowed to tell who won the game.

I am trying to read more, but it takes me a while to get through a book. Maybe if I read fiction instead of people's doctoral dissertations it would go faster. I have read several books by John Shelby Spong and Marcus Borg. As a comparison of fiction to doctoral disserations, I read The Da Vinci Code in two days, so maybe fiction is a faster read than fact. A very interesting book I finished this year was "History: Science or Fiction" by a Russian mathematician who sets out to prove that the whole chronology of events that we know is wrong and nothing before about 1000 years ago can be trusted.

James Jones at Niagara FallsI like to travel and have been to 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada (Ontario and British Columbia), and St. Martin since March 2001. I took a 4000 mile trip in July and August 2004 through the Eastern United States, adding WV, VA, NC, SC, DC, MD, DE, PA, NJ, NY, CT, MA, VT, NH, ME, and RI to the list of states visited and about ten pounds to my weight from all the fast food I ate on the trip. I went bungee jumping over Valentine's Day weekend in 2005 and added WA and OR to the list of states. The jump was awesome! I still have ND, WY, MT, ID, AK, and HI2 to visit. The photo of me to the right was taken from the observation tower at Niagara Falls, NY, in August 2004.

If you want to know anything else about me, feel free to ask. I may not answer, but that shouldn't stop you from asking.


1. I finally weighed more than 200 lbs during the 2001-2002 winter and continued to gain until reaching about 215 lbs during the summer 2003. The one exception was in May 2003 in a Pilot Travel Center in Oak Grove, KY, where you put a quarter in and you get your weight and horoscope. After getting a weight reading of 183 lbs, I laughed so hard that I left before getting my horoscope. I used another of those machines at the outlet mall in West Frankfort, IL, in April 2005, and it said my exact weight was 180.3 lbs. I once again laughed but stuck around for my fortune which was that money was going to be coming to my hands. I figured that's a big scam where they tell women that they weigh a lot less than they do and then the money coming to their hands is the money used to pay for all the new clothes bought to celebrate weighing so little. I finally switched to a digital scale in late 2003 after getting tired of getting about three different readings each morning on the old scale. The new scale read under 200 lbs (even if it was 199.5) for the first time on Nov 20, 2003. I was down to 184.5 on Dec 29, 2003. That's more than 30 lbs lost in two months and about 5 more pounds than I wanted to lose.

2. I have driven my car through each of the states and the District of Columbia. It is unlikely that I will drive it through Alaska and Hawaii. For Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, I flew into Seattle and then rented a car.