Barry A. Peratt
Ph.D. Mathematics, University of Delaware
Office: 204 Gildemeister Hall
Web Page: course1.winona.edu/bperatt/personal
Field of Study: Dynamical Systems, Complex Analysis
Professional Goals & Interests:
- More Nerds!
To introduce students to the joy of being a geek and the freedom
that comes from unleashing your inner nerd!
- More Chaos! To provide the students that I serve with a
productive learning environment and access to current developments
in the field of mathematics, particularly Nonlinear Dynamical
Diversity! This word has come to mean forced assent to a
politically-correct ideological creed. I seek to reclaim this word
in academia by being a pesky, politically-incorrect gadfly. Neither
rain, nor snow, nor dark of night shall stay this academician from
proclaiming “inconvenient truths,” to borrow a phrase or two. As
those who dare to differ from the status quo---and suffer all manner
of calumny because of it---increase in number, we will move toward
some much needed diversity and fresh air on this campus.
- More Tolerance!
Again, another word that has been butchered beyond recognition and has
taken on fascist overtones in academia. People need to be exposed in
tangible ways to the radical notion that reasonable, good, well-informed
people can disagree and still remain friends. Therefore, I seek to
maintain friends with whom I strenuously disagree about really
important things! There was a time not so long ago that this was widely
considered a “liberal” idea. Now it is simply an unacceptable one.
Disagreement now equals hatred, and the expression of dissenting points
of view creates a “hostile environment,” or so we are told. Sounds like
thought control to me.
All scientific study is performed under philosophical assumptions. One
current guiding philosophy is that the universe has evolved to its
present state solely through the unguided interplay of natural laws. In
contrast to this view, I accept natural laws and the mechanisms of
contingency as secondary causes, but I maintain that the formation of
the universe was purposefully willed and guided by a Creator, who serves
as its sustainer and primary cause. It is our job as scientists to
serve humanity by increasing our understanding and fostering our
stewardship of this orderly and lawful universe in which we reside. The
unnatural divorce of faith from reason has resulted in two unhealthy
extremes: secularism and fundamentalism. Only in marriage
can faith and reason each produce in fullness the fruit which is their