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Presenting the ping-pong prof

Ping-pong playing prof Douglas Miller can be seen pummeling students in table tennis five days a week in UIndy’s Schwitzer Student Center. He has played Ping-Pong with students for a little over four years, and he usually wins.

“There’s only one student on campus with a winning record against me, and that’s freshman golfer Graham McAree,” says Miller, who teaches mathematics.

Miller is well known by students who frequent the student center and it’s considered a “badge of honor” to defeat him.

“Some of our international students are really interested in the game,” he explains. “Often they have not played before, and I enjoy watching them progress.”

Several of his opponents have signed up for his math classes after getting to know him at the Ping-Pong table. Students do not mind asking him for homework help while he is playing, and Miller is always happy to help.

“I enjoy teaching the lower-level math courses because those students need the most help,” he explains. “I love watching the lights come on when a student ‘gets it.’”

Miller also gets involved on campus by getting a face full of pie on March 14, also known as Pi Day. Pi Day is an annual fundraiser hosted by the UIndy Math Department that benefits MathCounts, a nonprofit group that engages middle school students in math. For $5, students can pie their favorite math prof. Miller’s many Ping-Pong adversaries are hungry to serve sweet, whipped-cream revenge and are happy to fork over the dough to do just that.

When not on campus, Miller is out enjoying Indianapolis, his home for more than 40 years. He and his wife are season ticket holders of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. During the summer, the pair can be seen riding their tandem bike on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, the Monon Trail, to an Indianapolis Indians game, and around UIndy’s campus. Miller enjoys UIndy’s open and friendly environment.

“The school is large enough to have a diverse group of students and faculty whom I can learn from,” he says, “but is small enough for manageable class sizes.”