Dan Look

Dan Look, Rutherford Professor of Mathematics

Man in hat and glasses smiling

Hi! My name is Dan Look; I am a professor of mathematics and a proud first generation student! I grew up in Maine in a literal fishing village; my father was a truck driver and my mother packed sardines. I started work at age 9 raking blueberries in the summers and making wreathes in the winters; a bit later I added doing a lot of math to my schedule. (Naturally that made me super-popular.)

In 1996 I graduated with a BA in Mathematics and minors in Anthropology and English from the University of Maine; I continued at UMaine, earning a Master’s degree in Mathematics in 1998. After earning my masters I moved to Boston to pursue a PhD at Boston University, graduating in 2005 in the field of Complex Dynamics and Chaos Theory. I’ve been teaching university mathematics ever since, spending three years at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, then a year at Williams, and arriving at SLU in 2009.

My experience as a first generation student has shaped how I view my profession. I understand the difficulties inherent in feeling that peers can get advice from family and friends that may not be available to first generation students. I am also very aware of imposter syndrome; that feeling that you just don’t belong and are destined to fail. On the other side, I know how it feels to overcome these obstacles and how much joy my journey through university brought me. My hope is that I can help others attain this same feeling of accomplishment!