20 Questions: A sketch of Centre associate professor of math Alex McAllister
RELEASED: February 7, 2008
3. Career highlight: I'm not sure I have one in particular… I think of it more as a journey with lots of highlights.
4. Favorite College Course: Logic. I love logic! I took a 300-level course in logic as a freshman in college and fell in love with the stuff. There are so many things you can do with logic—both in abstract thinking and in practical applications. And logic is full of these intriguing puzzles that tell us so much about ourselves.
6. Family details: I have one wife, three kids and two dogs. My wife Julie has degrees in engineering and theology and more recently has developed an interest in making greeting cards and journals. My oldest child is Benjamin; he enjoys soccer, riding bikes and dueling with light sabers, or whatever stick happens to be handy. My second child is Daniel; he enjoys soccer, too, prefers his scooter to his bike and is often on the other end of those light saber duels. My third child is Ella; she loves Scooby Doo and princesses and is intent on doing everything for herself. All three of them are left-handed. Our dogs BJ and Bridget were both strays at one time but seem to enjoy living with us now.
7. Hobbies: This past year my wife and I bought a 100-year-old, somewhat dilapidated old house with lots of potential—that is, work! In addition to developing some fantastic skills with a crowbar while gutting the house, I'm learning about electricity, plumbing, insulation, drywall and paint. There really are an amazing number of layers to a house! I also love to coach my kids' soccer teams, grow flowers and play guitar.
8. Most Memorable Experience of Your Education: In sixth grade I finished a science test early. I thought about double-checking my work, but decided to just turn it in right away. I earned a C because of some silly errors that I believed I would have caught if I'd checked things over—and so I started looking back over all my old work.
10. Favorite book: "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint Exupery. I laughed, I cried – it's fantastic!
12. Favorite movie: "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "My Cousin Vinny"
14. Favorite artist of any type: So, I've already covered books, movies and music. My favorite visual artist is probably M.C. Escher. His art expresses these amazing mathematical insights and puzzles.
16. Person you most admire: My wife, Julie
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