Dean holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Indiana University South Bend and a Master of Arts in mathematics from Northeastern University. His primary research interest is the combinatorics and topology of hyperplane arrangements. He also has an interest in computer programming and Linux system administration.
Dean has taught numerous undergraduate-level courses in both the traditional lecture style and in more experimental interactive styles. He has also designed a graduate-level course entitled "Computational Techniques in Mathematics" which he taught twice at Northeastern University. In 2002, he served as a graduate student mentor for the REACH project (Research Experiences in Algebraic Combinatorics at Harvard), helping undergraduates and advanced high-school students perform original research in non-linear recurrence relations. In 2004, he spent four weeks at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute participating in their program on Hyperplane Arrangements and Applications. There, he introduced a software package that he had written that assists in the research of hyperplane arrangements.
In the Fall of 2008 he taught a computer programming course to a blind chemistry student. Currently he works as a software developer for CMM, a local manufacturing company. Dean also serves as webmaster and application developer for the Riverbend Community Math Center.