Deb Wiens received her B.S. degree from Rocky Mountain College in 1983 with majors in biology, chemistry and mathematics. She received her M.S. in mathematics from Colorado State University in 1986. The title of her master's thesis was "Crystallographic Group Theory." This paper studied the different interpretations of crystallographic structures by chemists and modern algebraic theorists. The differences were analyzed, examined and explained. After this, Deb spent one year in the Colorado State University Ph.D. program in mathematics before returning to Billings, Montana.
Deb began working at Rocky Mountain College during academic year 1987-1988 as an adjunct instructor of mathematics. In the academic year 1988-1989, she served as a visiting assistant professor of mathematics, then as an assistant professor of mathematics from 1989 through 1996. She was granted tenure in 1995, promoted to Associate Professor in 1996 and professor in 2004. During her years at RMC, Deb has taught math classes ranging from developmental math through upper level classes designed to prepare students for graduate study.
Deb is a member of the Mathematical Association of America and the Montana Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and has reviewed books and software for several different publishing companies. Deb was awarded the Ossie Abrams Faculty Achievement Award in 1995 and the Rocky Mountain College Outstanding Service Award in 2002.
Deb's areas of specialization are abstract algebra, combinatorics and graph theory.
Deb was involved in the Montana K-16 Mathematics Network, within the Montana Council of Teachers of Mathematics. This statewide group met to formulate a list of non-negotiable skills for students of mathematics at each grade level (especially K-8).
She has also worked with Carnegie Mellon University in the area of causal and statistical reasoning. This work was interdisciplinary and involved international faculty in the creation of courseware for teaching the topic. More recently, Deb has developed a new general education class designed to increase numeracy among non-math majors.
Deb also served on the Advisory Committee to the Montana University System for defining Proficiency Admissions Standards in Mathematics, and has volunteered with the Mathcounts program at the local, state and national levels. She has worked with the local school district in elementary, middle school and high school classrooms.
Deb is actively involved in community service in the larger Billings community, especially in 4-H and through church activities.