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Library staff recall a job well done

Kris: Lover of the Science Quiz Bowl

By November 23, 2020September 16th, 2023One Comment

How did you get started at the Libraries?

Kris Fowler

Kris Fowler

I came here in 1997 as the Mathematics Librarian, which I have been ever since, though with various additional roles alongside.

What was the campus like then?

Fewer bike paths! I started bike commuting in 2000 and have appreciated the recent improved infrastructure.

How have the Libraries changed over the years?

The Libraries are much more collaborative now, within and across divisions, although we know there’s still room for improvement.

How did this change your work?

It has made me think more broadly about which staff members are involved or interested in a project or event, beyond the roles I’m most familiar with. As well as making me more familiar with the routes to the West Bank, Bio-Med (as it was), and the St. Paul campus (uphill!).

What will you miss?

The marching band playing on the mall, which I could hear just enough from my office to know to hurry outside to listen to them!

What are you most proud of?

The article “Nefarious Numbers” that I wrote with math professor Douglas Arnold, in which we demonstrated statistically that a certain math journal had manipulated its impact factor. It really raised awareness within the mathematics community of the risk of such metrics.

What was the favorite part of your job?

Kris Fowler, second from left.

Kris Fowler, second from left.

Directing the Science Quiz Bowl, which I founded as a CSE Week intramural tournament over 15 years ago. It takes lots of work from a whole host of Libraries folks but the event day — with 32 teams of smart students dashing from game to game all over Walter Library — is really fun.

What is your next chapter?

My new job is directing the regional high school and middle school Science Bowls, under the aegis of the MN Academy of Science, which determine the teams that represent Minnesota at the national tournament. So my University career led to the next one in an unexpected way.


Author markenge

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Donna Weispfenning says:

    What a wonderful compilation of all that these talented people contributed to the University of Minnesota over time. As a staff member, I was enriched daily by the unending diversity that the University community offered to all of us … students, faculty, staff, and administrators and the larger community. Thanks for taking the time to acknowledge their work in this way. Jobs well done!

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