Sean Nowling & Patrick

    Sean Nowling

    Please tell us a bit about your history. Please include a bit about your educational background, your career path, and your family.

    I grew up in Washington State and attended college in Utah at Brigham Young University.  I received an MBA from the University of Minnesota and moved to Texas to work for AT&T.  I work in finance and use math every day in my job.  My wife is from Fairbanks Alaska and we have a two year old daughter who was born in Minnesota.  We’re expecting another child (a boy) in March.

    How long volunteered with We Teach Science Foundation:

    This is my first time

    What most appealed to you about this program?

    When I was in school I never saw an application for math and didn’t enjoy it as a result.  In fact, I didn’t think I was any good at it.  In college I discovered how interesting and applicable statistics and finance are and now enjoy them a lot.

    What are some ways you use math at your job?

    To determine how the value of a dollar changes over time, or how much money we make (or lose) given a particular price.

    Who was your favorite math or science teacher? Why?

    I had a great college statistics instructor who made statistics and math fun (it’s possible!) by showing how useful it can be.

    Why you like math and science? What is your favorite math or science memory as a student?

    Math and science help us make sense of problems we face.  In my Master’s program I enjoyed using math to solve business problems.

    What are some things you struggled with growing up? What was hard for you in school? What are some things that are challenging for you now?

    I didn’t understand how what I was learning in school would ever be of use to me.  As a result I didn’t try very hard, and I regret not putting more effort into school because I missed out on a lot.  It always seemed like other people picked it up easier than me, but I think my attitude was the biggest problem.

    What are some of your favorite things to do? What were a few of your hobbies growing up? What are your current hobbies and interests?

    I love to ski and mountain bike and did a lot of that growing up.  I also like to read and majored in English during my undergrad.  Now that I live in Texas I can’t ski or mountain bike, but I also have a family and a demanding job so I have plenty of other activities to keep me busy.  During school I was involved in scouts and did a lot of camping and hiking.