Teaching Philosophy

I will describe my teaching philosophy by answering some common questions.

Q: How do you engage/challenge your students mathematically on a daily basis? How do you motivate your students to attend and participate?

I seek to balance class time between an open discussion of basic ideas, practice working on basic examples of the mathematical ideas in the discussion, and examining how to apply the basic ideas towards more difficult problems. I also try to get students working either individually or in groups on solving more challenging problems when appropriate. I always do my best to try to explain the mathematics as simply as possible and relate math to real world applications.

While the "how to" in math is important, I am a firm believer in understanding why algorithms and theorems work the way they do and why it is important both the field of mathematics and other fields as well. I personally believe that the subject is more interesting when you view it in the larger picture. Although math is not always easy, I like to teach shortcuts and "tricks" should they exist. I also believe in structure with class time, homework, and exams so that my students know what to expect and always know what the main goal of class is. I think that if my students are confident that class time will be used productively and will be interesting, they are more likely to attend. Depending on the course, I also offer bonuses to students who have had excellent attendance.

Q: How do you use technology in the classroom?

It definitely depends on the course. I use my personal website to make course documents and links easily accessible. I have used a plethora of mathematical websites to assess students. I give online homework in all of my courses, and when my students have questions I often discuss them in class. I use graphing calculators quite extensively and explain how to use them in a variety of different ways. I have also used websites like Wolphram Alpha, GeoGebra, Visual Calculus, and many more to enhance my students' ability to visualize mathematics and become better self-learners. I have been working on a YouTube channel to post extra videos of myself for my students at a variety of levels. I have also taught labs on specific mathematical software including Microsoft Excel, MATLAB, Maple, and more.

To summarize, again I believe in using a balance between technology and a more traditional approach. I always seek to enhance my classroom with technology, but never to a point where it becomes a distraction from the math. I have come to use handouts quite frequently as it encourages participation and helps me stay on topic. Not to mention my students have given me incredibly positive feedback from developing them.

Q: Do you accept late work? Do you allow make-up exams?

Work in progress

Q: Do you incorporate any "innovative" teaching methodology in your classroom?

Work in progress