Baylor University Math Department Will Welcome Alumnus for Lecture on Oil Exploration

Nov. 2, 2015
Alan SchiemenzAlan Schiemenz courtesy photo.

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Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (Nov. 2, 2015) – Baylor University’s department of mathematics in the College of Arts & Sciences will welcome alumnus Alan Schiemenz, Ph.D., to speak as part of the “Life Experiences in Mathematics” lecture series at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, in Sid Richardson Building, Room 344.

Schiemenz works in the oil industry as a member of the seismic modeling and inversion research team at Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services company.

The title of Schiemenz’s lecture is “Numerical solution to the seismic wave equation and application to hydrocarbon exploration.”

“Alan Schiemenz is an expert on the mathematics behind predicting optimal places to drill for oil,” said Lance Littlejohn, Ph.D., department chair. “Having accurate algorithms, which involves sophisticated mathematical ideas, is important for several reasons with, perhaps, the most important reason being financial. Indeed, it costs millions and millions of dollars to drill for oil, and every energy company is interested in minimizing these exploration costs.”

Schiemenz graduated summa cum laude from Baylor in 2004 with a B.S. in mathematics. He received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Brown University in 2009. There, he applied high-order numerical methods to the study of magma genesis and evolution in the earth’s mantle as part of a multidisciplinary collaboration between applied mathematics, geophysics and geochemistry. After receiving his Ph.D., Schiemenz entered the computational seismology community in 2010 as a postdoctoral appointee in the QUEST initial training network at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany.

“Alan will explain how mathematics has helped in improving algorithms for oil exploration,” Littlejohn said. “His aim, of course, is to make the talk accessible for everyone. I think he will be successful at accomplishing this goal. Students and faculty in the STEM areas, in particular geology, physics and mathematics, should find the talk very informative and interesting. We hope to see faculty and students from all walks of life attend his lecture.”

The goal of the “Life Experiences in Mathematics” lecture series is to bring former mathematics students to Baylor’s campus to speak to undergraduates about the importance of mathematics and how it influenced, shaped and helped their successful careers. Schiemenz will be the sixth speaker in this series.

“We started this lecture series with our past graduates in mind,” Littlejohn said. “Indeed, we wanted to bring back former Baylor mathematics students who have been successful in business, industry or academia to speak to our students and faculty about how mathematics was important to their success.”

This event is free and open to the public.

Sid Richardson Building is located at 1410 S. Fourth St.

For more information, contact the department of mathematics at 254-710-3561.

by Ashton Brown, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 24 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit

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