You Are Here

Mathematics Professor
William Johnston, Ph.D.

RMC Mathematics Professor William Johnston, Ph.D., is the coauthor of a newlypublished
book, A Transition to Advanced Mathematics: A Survey Course (Oxford University
Press, 2009). The book promotes the goals of a “bridge” course in mathematics as
it helps to lead students from courses in the calculus sequence to theoretical upperlevel
mathematics courses.
“I join the RandolphMacon College community in congratulating Dr. Johnston on the
publication of this important book,” said RMC President Robert R. Lindgren. “His
dedication to scholarly work is commendable and I am delighted that this book will
benefit mathematics students worldwide.”
Johnston has published several mathematics papers and books on the theory of functions
and mathematical pedagogy, including An Introduction to Statistical Inference, Reducing
Litigation: The Mathematics of Settling Out of Court, Revising the Calculus Curriculum,
and research results in the area of operator theory. A Transition to Advanced Mathematics
was coauthored by Alex M. McAllister, an associate professor of mathematics at
Centre College.
Johnston explains the book: “It has two main objectives—to introduce sophomorelevel
students to proofs and to show them a broad set of mathematical fields. The book
provides a survey course in advanced, theoretical mathematics, and empowers students
to prove theorems, much the same way art courses empower students to draw or to
paint.”
A native North Carolinian, Johnston served as the provost of RandolphMacon College
from July 2007 until August 2009 and is currently a Professor of Mathematics and
Special Assistant to the President. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wake Forest
and holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Virginia. Johnston taught
at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, beginning in 1988, and became their associate
dean in 2001. Early in his tenure at Centre College, Johnston was a special program
instructor at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas and an instructor
with the Governor’s Scholars program. While at Centre College, Johnston was the
H.W. Stodghill Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Mathematics.