Day 13 (Thursday, August 5): Mineral Wells to Bowie, Texas: Turn Left, Head North to the Dome.

On the way to Bowie, TX

After riding in one direction—east—since leaving Tucson, today we made our first turn left to head for the Dome. We will be heading north for the remainder of our trip.

Today was an interesting day. We saw many animals that are not often spotted in South Bend, such as ostrich, emu, donkey, and Brahma bull, along with the typical horses and cows. There were also some less interesting (to us) creatures, such as grasshoppers, which we saw everywhere we rode, cicadas, locusts, and toads. I started a stampede when I whistled at a bunch of cows!

Blue skies

We had tailwinds today! We were very fast and beat the triple-digit heat, finishing our ride with a “mild” temperature of 99°F at 11 a.m. Overall it was a very nice ride today, with many beautiful animals, rolling hills, plush green landscapes, and a few small towns.

ND Helmet

Professor Frank Connolly, Department of Mathematics, asked me to look around for other Connollys during my ride in Texas. I did not find any, but this gives me a nice opportunity to talk about our SUMR program, the Seminar for Undergraduate Mathematics Research, headed by Professor Connolly. The Honors Mathematics program is designed for top mathematical minds at the undergraduate level, many of who aspire to obtain a Ph.D. We have many terrific math students at Notre Dame. Students in the SUMR program go through a seminar experience, usually during their sophomore year with Professor Connolly, which prepares them for graduate courses during their junior and senior years and research, so that they are well prepared when they graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Having several graduate courses and mathematical research under their belt makes them highly competitive for the top graduate schools around the country, many graduate fellowships from the National Science Foundation, and the National Physical Science Consortium. Since 1995, a total of 31 SUMR grads have completed doctoral programs in a mathematically related science. Another 27 SUMR grads from the years 2004-2010 can be expected to obtain a Ph.D. by 2015. The SUMR program is a great example of undergraduate program excellence in the College of Science.

Go Irish!

1 Comment so far

  1.    Gary Clark on August 6th, 2010

    Greg & Renate,

    I am so inspired by this journey that you are taking through my home state. I have been following since the beginning and never imagined that y’all would be experiencing the record temps in the region from this past week. I imagine that you could use some of that “active sunscreen” you invented…maybe this could have been the prototype test Chad & I could have used for McCloskey this past year. I hope that the weather will be more accommodating as you turn north, but am glad that you got to experience some real Texas hospitality.

    Keep peddlin’ and we look forward to seeing you both back on campus on 23 August.

    Go Irish! -GMC