’burg and Beyond
In Lewisburg and far afield, Bucknell’s students and faculty make a positive and palpable difference.
Clip art of Nathan Ryan
Illustration: Joel Kimmel
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Nathan Ryan led workshops for the faculty and seminars for high-school teachers focusing on finding more effective ways to teach calculus, a question that’s also of interest to Bucknell’s math department.

" "The Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador
Seated high in the Andes Mountains, the Ecuadorian capital of Quito is home to more than 2.5 million residents, and this fall, to exactly one number theorist. Professor Nathan Ryan, mathematics, spent months acclimating to the thin Andean air (Quito is more than 9,000 feet above sea level, nearly twice as high as Denver) and working at Universidad San Francisco de Quito.

What He’s Doing:
As the first Fulbright mathematician in Ecuador in a decade, Ryan shared his expertise by teaching facets of math not offered there. He also continued his research on number theory, a branch of math that has origins in mysticism and is essential to modern cryptography.

What He Loves:
South America has been his second home since childhood, when he hopped between Venezuela, Panama and Argentina while his parents worked for the U.S. State Department. A previous Fulbright in 2009 and a National Science Foundation-supported sabbatical in 2014–15 took him to Montevideo, Uruguay, to collaborate on number theory research.

The Universidad San Francisco holds special appeal for Ryan as the only fully private, liberal arts university in South America. “I am a complete liberal-arts-trained person,” Ryan says. “I went to a small liberal arts college. I went to grad school at Dartmouth, which is not a big research place. And I teach at Bucknell, right? So the fact that this is a liberal arts college was attractive to me from the beginning.”
— Matt Hughes