Years at the college:
1975 - Present
B.A. University of California, Santa Barbara 1969
For Steven Janke, Colorado College was his first academic position. He had prior experience in industry designing equipment for teaching physics, but after studying probability at Berkeley, he decided that the academic life was more attractive. Janke was hired to fill Wilson Gateley's position and consequently a key requirement was to teach statistics. Coming with a rather pure mathematical background, Janke gradually developed a stronger and stronger interest in applied areas of mathematics. In fact, early on his assignment to teach computing became a major interest and he was responsible for developing the computer science curriculum.
His interest in mathematical applications began with statistics and in the early 1980's turned to mathematical biology. He worked with Ron Capen from the Biology department to model the lung, and later developed a course in mathematical biology. During the calculus reform movement of the early 1990's, Janke contributed several chapters to an MAA book on applications of calculus. With interest in both computer science and the liberal arts, he collaborated with Judy Genova of the philosophy department to design an interdisciplinary course titled Minds, Machines, and Mammals. Returning to statistics in the 1990's, Janke collaborated with Fred Tinsley on a statistics text introducing linear models.
Janke was chair of the department from 1985 to 1988 and was a
key player in the development of computing on campus, serving
for many years on the Computer Policy Board. Steven has a strong
interest in teaching and served on the steering committee that
founded the Teaching and Learning Center on campus. His success in
the classroom and his wide interest in the natural sciences were
recognized by the college in 1997 when he was appointed as
Vernor Z. Reed Professor of Natural Sciences, a three-year
position named after an early benefactor of the college.