Did Quentin ever have a life?

F.
In 5th grade I got an F in mathematics, but that's not why I have it as a middle initial. It stands for Fielden, which was also my paternal grandfather's middle name. Quentin and Fielden are both unusual and, according to Google, I'm the only one that has them both. I'm proud to have my grandfather's name. He grew up in the hills of Kentucky and only graduated from 5th grade, and his wife from 7th grade, but they were widely respected, very generous, and very supportive.

Childhood
Euclid, Ohio. I'm a Euclidean mathematician. I had several superb math and science teachers in the public schools there - special thanks to Mrs. Eversole and Mr. Reno. Thanks also to Sputnik, for making America improve its science education just in time for me to participate in many innovative programs. I also had some other excellent teachers that weren't in math or science, going all the way back to elementary school. However, I usually didn't appreciate how good and caring they were until years later, and sometimes only after, as an adult, my mother told of the special things they had done for me. Unfortunately, the school system has seriously declined. I'm in the Euclid Public Schools Distinguished Achievement Hall of Fame, but some of the other members are far more distinguished.

Here is a statement about Euclid by Ruth Eckdish Knack: "For some it's a shrine, to others, a crime scene." No, it does not refer to my having been raised there, but rather to the fact that Euclid instituted zoning laws. In 1926 the US Supreme Court ruled that they were constitutional, forming a legal basis for zoning that continues to the present day.

Undergraduate
I have a BA in Mathematics from Centre College, Danville, Kentucky.  Intimate classes, intense faculty and students made for a great experience. Special thanks to Dr. Powell for teaching most of the independent study classes I had in mathematics.

Doctorate
My thesis was Schur Multiplication on B(H), in Mathematics at Indiana University. My very helpful advisor was John B. Conway, with many other faculty members also offering advice and encouragement.

Work Experience
My first paying job was shelving books in the library when I was in 5th grade. In high school I sold shoes. While these were exciting jobs, at 17 I started a summer job at the Aerospace Division of Parker-Hannifin Corp. I wrote programs that helped engineers design parts for fuel injection systems for engines for jets, helicopters, and rockets. This included the Saturn 5, which is still the most powerful rocket the US has ever built.

At Parker I wasn't allowed to tell anyone how old I was. One of the things I learned was that if you wear a sports jacket and tie and go with a salesman for a business lunch, then no one asks for an ID, even if you are a teen-aged nerd. I also learned that you get more work done in the afternoon if you don't drink alcohol at lunch.

 


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