Dr. Mike LeVan

Associate Professor of Mathematics; Director of First Engagements

Dr. Mike LeVan

“My goal is for students to walk out of my class understanding that mathematics is a field that they can and will use every single day.”

In every class he teaches, associate math professor Mike LeVan emphasizes the practical application of mathematical theory. "Whether you're watching a TV program, reading the newspaper, or having a debate with friends, math is a useful tool that can help you understand many different topics," he says.

LeVan finds Transylvania's liberal arts curriculum vital in making those connections. "All of our students get experience in art, literature, history, economics, and many other disciplines," he points out. "This allows them to see the link between mathematics and the world we live in."

The personal attention that students receive in small classes also enriches Transylvania's academic environment, according to LeVan. "I challenge anyone to walk by the math professors' offices during the day and see how many math majors and other students are hanging out together, talking about math and anything else that comes to mind."

Those students often suggest special topics classes that they'd like to have LeVan teach or ask him to help them pursue independent studies. "They push the faculty to offer more classes in different areas," he says. "That requires me to stretch my bounds, which makes me a better teacher and a better mathematician."

In addition to mentoring Transylvania students, LeVan is committed to helping middle and high school students prepare for the rigors of college. He and computer science professor Kenny Moorman coordinate Transylvania summer camps on academics, computer programming, and robotics.

Ph.D., Auburn University, 1995
M.A.M., Auburn University, 1991
B.S., Eastern Kentucky University, 1989
Contemporary Mathematics
Calculus 1, 2, 3
Linear Algebra
Abstract Algebra 1, 2
Graph Theory
Coding Theory
Senior Seminar
Foundations of Liberal Arts
History of Baseball
Ethics and Morals of Technology
Linux System Administration
Economics of Sports
Combinatorial Designs and Coding Theory
Linux Administration
Quantitative Literacy

Performance Opportunities

Project NExT Fellow (1996, Blue Dot)
Project Kaleidoscope
The American Mathematical Society
Associate Fellow, The Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications
The Mathematical Association of America
Bingham Award for Excellence in Teaching (2000)
NSF Kentucky EPSCoR Grant (1997, 1999)
David and Betty Jones Grant for Faculty Development (1997 2010)

Additional Information

  • Computing the Kernel of a Nonlinear Code (with K. T. Phelps), Journal of Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing, vol. 20, February, 1996
  • Kernels of Nonlinear Hamming Codes (with K. T. Phelps), Designs, Codes, and Cryptography, vol. 6, no. 3, Nov 1995, pp. 247 - 257
  • Nonsystematic Perfect Codes (with K. T. Phelps), S.I.A.M. Journal of Discrete Math, vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 27 - 34
  • Switching Equivalence Classes (with K. T. Phelps), Designs, Codes, and Cryptography, vol. 16, no. 2, Feb 1999, pp. 179 184
  • Probability and Statistics; Schaums' Easy Outline, McGraw Hill Publishing, 2001, Abridgment Editor
  • Designing a Course in Linux System Administration, Linux Journal, April 2005
  • Linux in the Classroom: A Look Back, Linux Journal, July 2005