Dr. Farhad (Bill) Aslan
Department of Mathematics
Texas A&M University - Commerce
Commerce, TX 75429
Four decades and counting and six University Presidents ago, I arrived on the campus of then East Texas State University, Commerce to teach the graduate sequence of complex variables and direct the thesis of several students needing to complete their research literature and technique courses in order to graduate. After touring the town with my family, and sampling the “cuisine” from some local restaurants namely, “The Chat’n Chew”, “Sonic”, and “Dairy Mart”, I decided that my stay in Commerce would be a brief one. Later, that summer of 1967, Dr. Dale Bedgood, with his family, arrived in Commerce to assume the position of Head of the Mathematics Department. That fall, Dr. Bedgood started recruiting a congenial group of professionals who worked as a teaching team to further the mathematical education of the department’s students. Teaching in an amicable atmosphere of mutual respect, I soon thought of my colleagues as my “work family.” In addition, I found living in a small town where you are able to drive from one place to another in less than five minutes very appealing. Needless to reiterate, my family and I still call Commerce, home.
Following the Dr. Dale Bedgood administration, I was privileged to work under the leadership of Dr. Stuart Anderson, Dr. Rick Kreminski, and Interim Department Head Dr. Charles Dorsett, respectively. These gentlemen, with their own unique talents and style, enriched the department and raised it to the standard of teaching excellence by which it is known today both locally and by other universities in the State of Texas.
In the years I have taught at this university, I have endeavored to present organized, coherent lectures that hold the attention of the class and stimulate classroom interaction. As with any educational endeavor an important aspect of teaching is not only that students learn subject matter but also learn to think critically and apply this material to obtain results in new situations. Former students, considered master teachers in their own right, have told me that they attribute their success to the “Aslan way of teaching” learned in my classroom. I was honored to receive the prestigious Texas Association of College Teachers Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award 1989-90, and TACT Outstanding Service Award, 1993-94 and 1994-1995 for two consecutive years.
Every semester since I arrived in 1967, I have taught at least four courses. During my first fifteen years, I taught twenty one different undergraduate and thirteen different graduate classes. Through the years, I directed at least eleven theses (Math 518) and numerous thesis, (research, literature, and technique known as Math 595). Many of my former students went on beyond their masters’ degree in pursuit of their doctoral degrees. As a part of my departmental duties, I served as the UIL Slide Rule and Calculator Contest Director for several years. This was a rewarding experience, as I was able to promote and recruit top students from different districts. I enjoyed serving as advisor of International Students and as the Chairman of the International Student Advisory Committee.
Making Commerce a better place in which to live is high among my priorities. In this spirit I was an active member of Rotary International for several years, which, as a civic organization, serves the community in many capacities. As Chairman of International Relations of the Rotary Club, I worked at bringing about a closer relationship between international students, TAMU-C, and the community. During these years, I gave a number of talks and slide presentations to schools, and to civic clubs of Commerce and also to civic clubs in the surrounding towns. I was a member of the Chamber of Commerce for over 5 years and served on The President’s Delegate Committee of the Chamber of Commerce.
Working within the Department of Mathematics at the university continues to be enjoyable and rewarding for me and has given me the opportunity to work with highly-valued colleagues and many hard-working, successful students preparing themselves for a productive and successful career.