Faculty & Staff

Dr. Barton Willis

Dr. Barton Willis

Professor and Chair
Department of Mathematics
Founders Hall, 2042
(308) 865-8868
willisb@unk.edu

I grew up on a hobby farm in the Kansas Flint Hills. After graduation from Riley County High School, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Physics from Kansas State University. At Virginia Tech, I was a student of University Distinguished Professor Paul Zweifel and earned a Ph.D. in mathematical physics.

True to my hobby farm background, I enjoy digging up my yard and replacing the grass with flowers, vegetables, and berries. In my vegetable  garden, I grow collard greens, basil, tomatoes, onions, raspberries, lettuce, and peppers; in my flower gardens, favorites include Agastache, Aquilegia, Monarda, Penstemon, Rudbeckia, and Echinacea. Additionally, I've been lucky enough to grow an azalea in my alkaline soil.

I hike anywhere there are mountains and trees. I first visited Rocky Mountain National Park when I was four years old and I still love to hike there. I've climbed Mt. Handies (14,068 feet), Mt. Chiquita (13,069 feet), Hallet Peak (12,713 feet),  Mount LeConte  (6,593 feet), and Mount Rogers (5,729 feet), but mostly I like just being outside in nature.

A few years ago, I started taking art classes from a local artist. My Grandmother was an artist and my mother was a skilled crafts person, so maybe there is some hope for me.

I'm the founding member of the Kearney Introverts Club (KIC).  We don't have meetings or events. I know of two other members; everybody is welcome to join.

A few years ago, I acquired my first orchid. My beginners luck has faded, but I'm hooked nevertheless.

I'm a developer for the Maxima comptuer algebra system. I wrote to_poly_solve, nset (support for finite sets), code for symbolic and numerical evaluation of hypergeometric functions, including orthogonal polyomials, a solver for second order linear differential equations,  and support for linear algebra calculations.