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Derek Thompson

Department Chair and Associate Professor of Mathematics

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board games composition operators functional analysis games and gamification in education operator theory

Derek Thompson

Department Chair and Associate Professor of Mathematics


  • PhD, Mathematics, IUPUI (2013)
  • MA, Mathematics, Ball State University (2008)
  • BS, Mathematics, Indiana Wesleyan University (2006)


Advice for Incoming Freshman

In our submission to Christ, we are paradoxically given more freedom than we ever had as slaves to sin. Likewise, if you submit yourself to the expectations of college, you will be given the freedom to learn and become a much more edified and fulfilled person than you ever thought possible. Every time you skip class and sleep in, you are denying yourself that amazing opportunity, and you will regret it later. Also, you might need a recommendation letter from that professor in 3-5 years (whoops).

How I came to Taylor

I am from Grant County originally. While at school after undergrad at Indiana Wesleyan University, we found ourselves splintered between our new homes and our church home back at Mt. Olive United Methodist Church in Marion and our families back here in the Oak Hill area. This became of an even greater importance to us when our daughter Elizabeth was born this past April. Taylor is an amazing opportunity to reconnect with those communities, and to be back in a teaching and learning environment that emphasizes Christ over all.


I enjoy board gaming, medieval fantasy literature, concerts, and music festivals. I also like hardcore music including the worship-focused group, Wolves at the Gate.

Major Career Accomplishments

It was a great accomplishment for me to finish my PhD, and to subsequently copublish another paper with my advisor and my officemate at Trine University. However, I am most proud of the connections and progress I made with students at Trine at all levels of learning—and I hope to have a similar impact here at Taylor.