The Commerce Journal

Features

November 29, 2007

There's much more than math to Kreminski

Driving down I-30 in his blue 1990 Honda with more than 288,000 miles, listening to law books on tape, Rick Kreminski is hoping that he is not going to have a flat tire.

Kreminski, professor of mathematics and department head, is studying law at night at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and makes the drive from Commerce to Dallas and back three times a week this semester.

He considers himself a mathematician first and foremost over any sort of law degree. Growing up, he wanted to be a scientist.

Kreminski was born in Chicago and reared in a suburb on the northwest side. He earned his undergraduate degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in biology and his master’s and doctorate from the University of Maryland. During his graduate studies he worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for a summer and then on a NASA grant for a year-and-a-half on the TDRSS, a satellite system that was to be deployed by Space Shuttle Challenger.

In addition to being focused on his studies, Kreminski was a devout Grateful Dead fan and a hitchhiker. He named his youngest son Ben Garcia after Grateful Dead member Jerry Garcia. He once hitchhiked from Chicago to Alaska before starting college and, on another occasion to Oregon, to a writer’s house he enjoyed to meet him.

After his graduate studies, Kreminski started his career at the American University in Washington, D.C., for two-and-a-half years before moving to Commerce.

“It just seemed like a good fit here,” Kreminski said. “Crime was really bad in D.C. We wanted to go to a place where it was safe for kids. It was also nice to be in the country for our kids, and, for instance, to be able to see the Milky Way at night.”

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