Erik Kjosness

Erik Kjosness

Lecturer of Mathematics


M.S., Montana State University, Mathematics, 2014
B.A., Western, Math and Computer Information Science, 2004


How did you discover Western?

I attended Western as an undergraduate. I was an Art major for two years, concentrating in airbrush and photography, before becoming a Math major. I later added a Computer Information Science major with an emphasis in Graphic Design. I am also a legacy. Both of my parents grew up in Gunnison and graduated from Western, along with many of my aunts and uncles. My grandfather was also a highly revered Dean of Students at Western for three decades.

What are some of the highlights of your career?

The highlight of my career is the joy I get on the first day of class, walking into a room full of students who think they “hate” math, because I know I will change their minds by the end of the semester.

What most excites you about your field?

Mathematics is the language of the universe. It dictates everything—from the path of the planets around the sun to the shape and duplication of DNA in our cells. It helps explains the ebb and flow of recurring biological events, musical compositions, and even much of the timeless beauty in the visual arts. The understanding of mathematics is often the thin line between knowledge and mystery.

What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?

Many people will cite their love for the myriad outdoor opportunities in the Gunnison Valley; it’s one of the things that attracted me to Western as an undergrad. But more than the call of nature whispering up and down the valley, it’s the sense of community that brought me back to Gunnison as a professor. It’s difficult to go anywhere—be it a grocery store or a lift line—without striking up a conversation with neighbors, coworkers and friends.