SNC Emeritus Professors

John Frohliger

Professor Emeritus of Mathematics

Ph.D. Purdue University
M.S. Purdue University
B.A. Indiana University

John Frohliger earned his Ph.D. from Purdue University and joined the SNC mathematics faculty in 1983.  During his 34 years at the College, he taught 16 different courses; in addition, he led independent studies in advanced linear algebra, projective geometry, fractal geometry and an introduction to algebraic topology.  For eight different courses, he wrote lecture notes that were made available to students.  He developed PowerPoint lectures that were used to teach three courses in the flipped classroom format; two of those were also offered as online summer classes.  In 1994 John received the College’s Leonard Ledvina Award for Excellence in Teaching.

On the administrative side, John was a co-PI, with Bonnie McVey and David Pankratz, both SNC faculty in the Computer Science Discipline, for a $500,000 NSF grant.  From 2002 until 2007, he served as the associate dean of SNC’s Natural Science Division.  Outside the College, John was the Chair of the Wisconsin Section of the Mathematical Association of America (1998-9) and a Pi Mu Epsilon National Councillor (2011-2014).  

Over his career, John was privileged to mentor or co-mentor over 25 undergraduate collaborations.  Most of these projects resulted in student talks at regional and national conferences, including three national Pi Mu Epsilon award-winning presentations.  One project produced an article in the peer-reviewed Mathematics Magazine.

John retired in 2017.  Now he spends his time tutoring, riding his bicycle, and losing golf balls

Rick Poss

Professor Emeritus of Mathematics

Ph.D. University of Notre Dame
M.S. University of Notre Dame
B.S. St. Procopius College (now Benedictine University)

Rick joined the SNC faculty in 1970, immediately after completing his doctorate in Symbolic Logic under the direction of Boleslaw Sobocinski. His research area was in the construction of novel axioms for Set Theory that are both consistent with and independent of the other axioms.

In addition to teaching almost every mathematics course that SNC offered, he enjoyed academic advisement and his work with the Mathematics Club. After several fitful starts in the 1970’s, the math club was established in its current form in 1982. The Wisconsin Delta Chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon was chartered in 1985.

He was active in both the MAA and Pi Mu Epsilon. He was President and then Governor of the Wisconsin Section of the MAA. He was an officer of Pi Mu Epsilon for 15 years starting in 1987. He served as a Councilor, Editor of the Pi Mu Epsilon Journal, and President.

His experience with Pi Mu Epsilon showed him the value of students doing undergraduate research in mathematics. He worked with students in researching topics, writing up the results, and then presenting these results at regional and national venues. Always looking for the most cost-effective means of getting students to these conferences, he drove over 47,000 miles with them. Among the more memorable such trips were the ones to Vancouver, BC; Seattle, WA; and Los Angeles, CA.

In 2008, he and Terry Jo Leiterman developed the idea of establishing a summer program to enable more SNC students to gain the experience of doing dedicated research in math. The fund that now supports this program had its start as the Math Club Travel Fund. The continuing generosity of SNC math alums has served to keep this summer program alive and well.

Larry Thorsen

Professor Emeritus of Mathematics

Ph.D. Duke University
M.S. The George Washington University
M.A. Duke University
A.B. Dartmouth College

Larry Thorsen taught at St. Norbert College from 1979 to 2020. Before that, he taught for two years at Virginia Military Institute. He also served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1969 to 1973. While his mathematical specialty was functional analysis, he taught a wide variety of courses in the mathematics curriculum. He particularly enjoyed teaching advanced courses in theoretical mathematics. He also developed and occasionally taught the course GENS 403, Ideal Societies, a blend of political philosophy and Utopian literature, for the Core Curriculum.

He played a role in the development of the General Education Program that preceded the current Core Curriculum, the Honors Program, the Academic Honor Code, and current Faculty tenure and promotion policy. He served as Director of the Honors Program from 1986 to 2009.

He likes to travel and do crossword puzzles. He is also an avid sports fan and has rooted for the Chicago Cubs since 1952. He spends a lot of time in his retirement getting to know his granddaughter Adelynn, born March 2, 2021.