Jeffrey Bell | Distinguished Undergraduate Scholar; Gentry Endowed Piano Scholarship

Jeff BellDual Degree: BS in Mathematics (Applied Mathematics Track) and BM in Performance 

Hometown: Farmington Hills, Michigan

Favorite Experience: My favorite overall experience has to be my time with the BCM (Baptist Campus Ministries). From the moment I stepped on campus, they truly were invested in incorporating me into their close and supportive community. They developed my leadership skills, encouraged me to serve and love those around me, and provided the space and resources to solidify and grow my faith. The friendships made from the BCM will undoubtedly last a lifetime as will my gratitude to the BCM for the ways it has served and matured me.

Favorite Professor: My favorite professor has to be Dr. Bulent Tosun. For one, I can’t say I’ve encountered a professor with as much exuberant passion for his subject as Dr. Tosun has for math. I distinctly remember one lecture of differential equations with him, four and a half years ago, in which the entire class was structured like this: a problem, our “dream” in an ideal universe for how to conveniently solve it, the “reality” of our less than ideal situation, and our “hope” to overcome the reality and work hard to achieve the dream. Those passing by wouldn’t have been blamed if they thought it was a philosophy course rather than differential equations. Nevertheless, with such a framework in mind, I was able to succeed in tackling almost any problem that arose in that class. Consequently, it was based on my performance in differential equations that Dr. Tosun recommended that I seriously consider majoring in math, which directly led to my academic career shaping into its current form. Beyond his passion for math, Dr. Tosun was also always rich in wisdom and good humor. My second class with him was discrete mathematics, which functions as a logic and introduction to proof-writing course. On the very first day, Dr. Tosun showed us one of his favorite Bert & Ernie clips, featuring Bert losing a game of checkers to a pigeon. After our first test, which many students, including myself, struggled during, Dr. Tosun’s encouragement was not some offer for a generous curve or extra credit, but rather to run for the hills from anyone that would offer an easy way out. Dr. Tosun wanted to instill in us a work ethic that responded to failure with a drive to earn success and not be handed it. And though while I cannot say I share Dr. Tosun’s love for proofs, I was given the skills in that class to find success in all future graduate math classes, whether it was a proof or challenging test I encountered.

Future Plans: I intend on pursuing a graduate degree in acoustics, as of now, yet to be determined where. Thereafter, depending on the degree earned, I intend to either become a professor or work as part of an acoustical consulting firm, seeking to design spaces to sound as optimal as possible.