"My mathematical interests focus on applications to real world problems that are affected by random inputs or disturbances. If you think about it, very little in this world can be predicted with complete certainty.
Here is one example of the types of problems that I have worked on with students recently: 'What went wrong with the way the banks were modeling risk of loans during the recent financial crisis? Were there particular incorrect assumptions being made that were most important in leading to the disastrous concurrent defaults in the loan portfolios the banks were holding, and how might loan policies be changed to avoid such problems?' In addition to my research interests in financial mathematics, I have been occupied recently with the use of technology in the teaching and learning of probability, statistics, and other applied areas of mathematics."
Years at Knox: 1986 to present
Ph.D., Mathematics, 1981, Northwestern University.
M.S., Mathematics, 1977, Northwestern University.
B.A., magna cum laude, 1976, Knox College.
Mathematical statistics, operations research, financial mathematics, honors and independent research.
Knox Faculty Development Award, 1998.
Introduction to Probability with Mathematica, 2nd ed., Chapman & Hall/CRC Press, 2009.
Introduction to the Mathematics of Operations Research with Mathematica, 2nd edition, Taylor & Francis/Marcel Dekker, 2006.
Introduction to Probability with Mathematica. CRC Press/Chapman & Hall, November, 2000. Also issued electronically.
"Building a Baseball Simulation Game." Chance Magazine, 1999.
"Mathematica for Mathematical Statistics." Presented at the Worldwide Mathematica Conference, 1998.
"Missions and Majors: Assessing Liberal Education Goals through Academic Majors." Panel presenter at the Higher Learning Commission Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, 2009.
"Do the Parts Add Up to the Whole? Lessons from the Missions and Majors Assessment Project." Panel presenter. Association of American Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington, 2009.
"The Many Levels of Assessment." Co-coordinator and Panel Facilitator, Teagle Conference, Ripon College, 2009.
Campus & Community Involvement
Established numerous mathematical and statistical internships: AT&T, Chicago Corporation, CNA Insurance, Equicor, Cigna Corporation, Kemper Corp.
Supervisor, numerous student projects in applied mathematics.
Member, Mathematical Association of America.
Member, American Statistical Association.
Member, Phi Beta Kappa.
What Students Say
"Professor Hastings is exactly what you want in a college teacher. He knows his stuff extremely well; he is involved in campus life, and he cares about students. You'll be surprised by the amount of writing in his classes, but it really helps you to understand and apply the mathematics that you're learning. He is open-minded and always solicits student opinions about his courses."
-Erin Roche, Mathematics Major
Leading up to a worldwide event -- Gun Control Theatre Action Week, May 27 through June 2 -- a play by Knox College theatre professor Neil Blackadder was selected for a new collection, "24 Gun Control Plays."
Rana Tahir, a double major in creative writing and political science, wrote dozens of poems and created 29 paintings after interviewing Kuwaiti residents about the 1990 Iraqi occupation.
Knox College awarded more than $3,000 in prizes in the 2013 Al Young Art Show. Organizing 200 art works in an array of media is a challenge, according student Katie O'Connor, who helped arrange the entries.