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The professor’s room: Elizabeth Ribble

An occasional series that gets within the inner sanctums of academia – because clever people have interesting rooms.

By Cory Phare

February 13, 2018

MSU Denver Professor Elizabeth Ribble in her office.

Growing up, Elizabeth Ribble, Ph.D., had parents who supported her dreams no matter what, never telling her she couldn’t succeed in math because she was a girl.

Today, the assistant professor of statistics in the Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences pays it forward, empowering a future generation of students. And you’ll find many of them in the photos around her office, along with Jerry Seinfeld, concert posters and cats – lots of cats.

  1. Spoon is my favorite band, and in 2017 I went to all four shows they played here in Colorado. I love all the songs on every album of theirs – that’s when you know it’s good, when you don’t have to skip a single track.
  2. My husband and I like beer. We’ve tried a bunch of the breweries around Colorado, so these are some of the stickers from them. One of my favorites is Our Mutual Friend – the bartenders are fun and it has a cozy atmosphere; you feel like you’re part of the community there.
  3. I wasn’t a huge Seinfeld fan when we got married, but my husband was, and now it’s my world, too. It’s really amazing how much in this world relates back to Seinfeld.
  4. I used to live in the Netherlands and won a poster prize at the 2012 Netherlands Proteomic Centre Progress Meeting there. In simpler terms, it’s about using data to find clusters of proteins that have specific functions.
  5. These are five of my students and another professor at one of the American Statistical Association’s Joint Statistical Meetings in Seattle. It was the first time bringing students to a conference and one of the turning points in my career – I loved showing them around and getting them involved; that’s when I realized “this is the job for me.”
  6. In my intro to stats course I do this exercise that helps students see you can trust numbers, but not always how people present them – it’s about education and understanding. This is a postcard from a box of cereal; my brother wrote “You’re going to change lives as a teacher,” and it feels like I’m doing that now.
  7. I love cats, and there are many of them throughout my office. My parents bought me this poster when we were visiting London; they hid it from me and gave it as a gift after we left. I like it because it reminds of our time there – and because it has cats on it.

Calling all faculty and staff members…
Do you have an interesting office – and would you like to feature it in our series? Just email Cory Phare.

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