Math Professor Hamilton Leads an X-treme Life

By Courtney Wicker
Elm Staff Writer

Do you ever sit in class and wonder what your professors do when the hour is over? Mathematics professor Eugene Hamilton, who has been at Washington College since 1978, is a walking file on water sports.
Hamilton hails from Wilmington, Del. He has always had an interest in math and science fields because he grew up watching his father’s work.

“My father always told me to do what I really wanted to,” he said.
Hamilton took his father’s advice and went on to study math at the University of Delaware, graduating with a bachelors degree in 1968. He pursued his post-grad efforts at Cornell, where he received both a masters and a Ph.D.

“I worked really hard in school,” he said.

Hamilton did not always want to be a professor. He went into teaching after he realized that he would have greater freedom in research.

He started working at WC with about 10 other professors, some of whom are still faculty members.

“There was a time when I wasn’t much older than the students, now I’m older than their parents,” he said.
Hamilton is still as active as ever. He is an avid water skier, hydro-foiler, and has gotten into snowboarding and rollerblading. In addition to being a math professor, he is the faculty advisor for the WC wakeboarding club.
Hamilton has a sport for just about every season. He rollerblades and cycles in the spring and summer. He also gives lessons in water skiing in the late fall.

“I love teaching people how to water ski because they actually want to learn,” he said. “They’re more eager than some of my math students.”

Apart from being active in the water sport community, he is quite the musician. He has been playing the keyboard since he was 12, a chord organ, and the piano. In his early years at WC he started playing out gigs for some extra money.

“What I learned was people really want to hear singing,” he said. “If you have two groups, one where there is an okay singer, but a really good keyboardist and the other [has the opposite] the latter will get paid more almost every time,” he said.

The method in which he performs allows for him to be a one-man band in a way. He uses a sequencer, which has the ability to combine multiple sounds and instruments, allowing for nearly 20 different parts to be played by one person seamlessly.

Although Hamilton admitted liking the third Twilight film, “Eclipse,” his movie interests lie more heavily in the superhero films, due to his love of comics. He is anticipating the release of the newest Green Lantern film along with the buzz around a possible Justice League film.

Along with sports, teaching, and watching movies, Hamilton has an impressive collection of completed Sudoku puzzles.

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