Title: Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Degree: Ph.D., George Mason University
What brought you to Hood College?
When I interviewed at Hood, I immediately clicked with the rest of the faculty in the mathematics department. We work together closely to develop new curriculum, especially for the calculus courses. I've always attended larger state universities, so I was excited to join a smaller school where the focus is on innovative teaching.
What do you value most about your relationship with students?
This is only my third year at Hood, but already I am seeing the students I taught in previous semesters growing and maturing. I'm so proud of my students and what they accomplish.
Why is teaching your dream job?
I learn something new every day. I love it when students come up with a question I never thought to ask. It's also very satisfying to see a student's excitement when they discover something for themselves.
If you were to consider another career, what would you consider and why?
It's hard for me to imagine doing anything else! With a doctorate in mathematics, there are some very nice industry jobs open to me. As a young person, I wanted to be an astronaut!
Describe your approach to teaching?
I try to focus less on the act of teaching and more on the act of learning. I could do an amazing performance in front of the class, but if my students aren't getting anything out of it, what's the point? Instead, I try to reinforce mathematical concepts by preparing interactive lessons that combine different styles of learning: a bit of lecture, hands-on activities, discovery learning, computer labs, communicating mathematics both to a small group and in writing, and reading about mathematics.
What is/are your most memorable moment/s at Hood?
The flash mob dance at last year's convocation. The week of snow in spring 2010. When my calc II students made me a special hat at one of the student carnivals.
Describe your academic interests and research?
My research area is graph theory. This combines discrete mathematics with a bit of geometry. I also have a background in computing, so I am interested in discrete mathematics problems that involve computer simulations and solutions.
When you aren't working, what are you doing in your spare time?
I love science fiction and comedy, whether the format is a book, movie or long-form TV series. My sister and I are teaching ourselves to play chess using an iPhone app— she lives in Detroit so I really enjoy the chance to interact with her every day. This semester, I'm training for my second marathon.
Name three books that you would recommend everyone read: