Hi! I’m Cornelis (“Nelis”) Potgieter, an associate professor (with tenure) in the Department of Mathematics at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. I’ve been living this Texas adventure since 2009 when I moved to College Station, TX for a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Texas A&M Institute of Applied Mathematics and Computational Science.
I was born and raised in South Africa (and my South African accent still shines strong). I am a graduate of the Rand Afrikaans University where I completed a BSc (Financial Mathematics) degree. While completing this program, I discovered a passion for all things statistics. This led to me pursuing a PhD in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Johannesburg.
I am passionate about teaching statistics to students of all levels. In courses for non-majors, I help my students develop statistical reasoning skills. This gives them a strong foundation for engaging with a world in which every aspect of our lives is now quantified. For statistics majors and graduate students, I work to reveal the beauty and elegance of statistical models, always emphasizing that while “all models are wrong… some are useful” (attributed to the statistician George Box).
When I’m not teaching or working on research projects, you can find me spending time with family and friends, going to coffee shops, cooking elaborate meals, and taking our dog Isaiah for long walks. I am an avid consumer of books, whether reading them in print or listening to them on audio. Interested in what I’m reading at the moment? Check out my Goodreads profile.
“The statistician who supposes that [their] main contribution to the planning of an experiment will involve statistical theory, finds repeatedly that [they make their] most valuable contribution simply by persuading the investigator to explain why [they wish] to do the experiment…” — Statistician Gertrude Cox (1900 – 1978)