Dr. Claus Ernst is a professor of mathematics. His came to WKU as an assistant professor in 1988, was promoted to full professor in 1998, and appointed Western Kentucky University Distinguished Professor in 2013. His birthplace is in Germany where completed his undergraduate education. As a graduate student he joined Florida State University where he obtained a Ph. D in 1988. His research area is topology, in particular knot theory and its applications to the physical sciences. He has been a successful researcher - as can be seen in his publication record and in the fact that he has been invited to mathematics conferences all over the world. He was a principal investigator of several NSF grants awarded by the division of mathematics. While at WKU Claus Ernst served on many different committees (for example the Benefits Committee) and has been the chair of several University Senate committee (such as the Budget and Finance Committee or the Faculty Welfare and Professional Responsibilities Committee).
His wife Uta Ziegler is a professor of computer science at WKU in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Together they raised two sons who both attended the Gatton Academy. During the last 10 years they has taught the vast majority of Gatton students using a course entitled “Advanced computational problem solving” that is taken by all Gatton students in their junior year. His term on the Board ends October, 2020.