My math background has served me well in so many areas it is hard to explain. When
I graduated, in 81, the economy was in disarray. Not even the Marine Corps needed me.
I was forced to take an entry level job as a manger at a Wendy's. But hey, I was single
and it was in New Orleans so there were fringe benefits.
My education was more a hindrance than a help, as I was a little overeducated. At
first. 4 years later I joined a company called Rally's Hamburgers when there were 5
restaurants. 8 years later we went public with 500 units, for $250 million on NASDAQ.
Now that is some math. I was the special projects director for the VP of Company operations.
In short a company troubleshooter.
I designed the algorithms for the new computerized ordering system. I designed new
equipment. I worked on the problem of calculating oil absorption of French fires. That
is to predict the absorption, so that accurate ideal cost predictions and replenishment
calculation could be defined. Alas, while I could define the problem, the actual experimental
data was too costly to acquire. So I guessed. But it was a scientific guess.
I ended up my career there by implementing a complete point of sale, to back office,
to corporate office IT system, then using that success to move to an IT career. I did
this because the mathematics showed me how lucrative it could be.
In that career I was in a start up manufacturing company as the VP and CFO. We were
shortly acquired by a larger company and my role was product design and sales. Selling
the systems was all cost benefit to our customers.
I then was recruited by GE IT in Minneapolis and began an IT consulting career in
Software Quality Assurance. You would not believe the mathematics involved in SQA.
On a side note, I became a Six Sigma expert. That is where I learned how sophisticated
the fast food industry real is. While GM, Ford, Motorola, GE etc. where struggling
to implement Six Sigma and JIT delivery, I realized the fast food industry had mastered
the concepts decades ago. I was doing very sophisticated math and did not know it.
After several years I grew dissatisfied with the IT industry and took an offered severance
package. Now I own my own remodeling company. Math is extremely important to me. Every
None of this explain my real fascination with math or the importance of math in my
life. Being a father, balancing a budget, earning a living, running my own business,
providing for retirement, now that is relevant math. When your butt is on the line,
and decisions are based on math, well that is a whole new ball game. But here is the
real importance of math to me. I was able to teach both of my son's math. I made calculus
easy for them. My oldest Jason is completing his junior year at St. Thomas. He is getting
a double major in Math and Econ on a Navy ROTC scholarship. He has figured out a way
to have college paid for AND earn a salary at the same time. Now that is MATH!!!
Joshua is a freshman at MacNally Smith, a private music school getting a degree in
Performance Guitar. I was a little concerned, until he told me of the size of the music
industry and all the possible careers, other than teaching or being a lead guitar player
in a rock band. He did the math, and found a way to combine his love with a viable
career. And of course there is a large element of math in music.
Math is integral to my career, and life. I did not even touch on how the mental discipline
math taught me has aided me.