EMU Mathematical Sciences Department
Fall 2004
Back to top

Welcome to Leah Shao Boyer Assistant Professor of Physics

Leah Boyer joined the faculty of the Mathematical Sciences Department his fall. Leah comes to EMU from China by way of Bowling Green State University. Her doctoral dissertation topic was “Preparation and Characterization of II-VI Compound Semiconductor Thin-Films by Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD)”. Leah taught undergraduate physics, chemistry, and materials science while she was studying at Bowling Green State University. She also worked as an Associate Engineer in the Advanced Research Group at the Federal Mogul/Champion Spark Plug Company in Toledo, Ohio.

Leah earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Dalian Marine College in Dalian, Liaoning, China. She worked as a engineer in China until she came to the United States to study at Bowling Green. As part of her first job in China at the Dahua Radio Instrument factory, Leah designed a Super Heterodyne Phase Locking Receiver for a meteorological satellite receiver system.

Leah has a very interesting story about how she was drawn towards God by events in her life and some radio broadcasts; how she was led to apply for graduate work at Bowling Green; how she met some Christians there and became a Christian. She was very active in a Chinese Bible study which had as its mission an outreach to Chinese students at Bowling Green University. She has also been involved in ministry in China during the summer and plans to continue ministry options in China. Leah is planning to start a Chinese Bible study in Harrisonburg in January at her home. Leah was excited about the possibility of coming to EMU where it is expected that she will talk openly about her Christian faith as she integrates faith, physics, and math.

Leah is married to Greg Boyer and they have three children: Yudi, Andy, and Cindi.

This year Leah is teaching University Physics I & II, Engineering Dynamics, Applied Mathematics, Elements of Calculus, and Modeling With Algebra. Leah is also the advisor for the pre-engineering program and plans are for her to teach some engineering courses. Leah is planning to design a new, introductory level electrical engineering class: “Fun With Electronic Circuits”.

Visit our department’s faculty page!

Back to top

Department News

Sarah Loyer has returned to EMU after an absence of two years as the Residence Director of Hillside dorm. She is also keeping her mathematics teaching skills active by teaching Elementary Statistics and Modeling with Algebra. Welcome back!

A search committee chaired by Dierdre Smeltzer along with Owen Byer and Charles Cooley from the department; Chris Gingerich and Ron Stoltzfus of the Business Department; and also Jack Rutt from Information Systems is meeting to fill a position in CS/CIS created by the departure of Jane Martin last spring and the planned retirement of Joe Mast in the spring of 2005. If you know of anyone who might be interested in the position have them contact the EMU Academic Dean’s Office: (540) 432-4141 or
Website link:

Math Club notes: The Math Club is a student run organization that began this fall. The had their first get together at the Swartzendruber residence, home of the EMU President’s family. They had dinner and played some games. The club is currently working with several middle school students at Eastern Mennonite High School to prepare them for the Math Counts competition.

Music Department Seminar: On Nov. 18, Brad Lehman gave a seminar describing how he discovered how Bach tuned his instruments. The discovery involved a good bit of mathematics. Brad was a double major in mathematics and music at Goshen College and earned a doctoral degree in harpsichord history/performance at the University of Michigan

E-mail Alumni News!

Back to top

Problem Corner

Congratulations to the following individuals for determining that 494,209 and 998,001 were the solutions to our last Problem Corner: Ellis Detwiler (who also supplied a proof), Jesse Blosser, Tim H. Shenk, Kevin Nafziger, Mark Miller, and Craig Hofstetter.

New Problem:

Our new problem comes from the good old days. An astute mathematician drives 21 miles round trip to work each day. On the way he passes a gas station which advertises free gas if the price at which the pump stops when filling the tank consists of repetive digits, i.e., $1.11, $2.22, etc. Gas costs 30 cents per gallon and his car gets exactly 15 miles per gallon. Considering no additional driving, he computes that once he fills his gas tank at the station, he can get all his gas free. The station is an integral number of miles from his home. How many miles is it?

Please submit solutions to Owen Byer.

Back to top

Fall 2004

Published by the
Mathematical Sciences Department
Eastern Mennonite University

Editor: Joseph W. Mast