## Teaching Philosophy

It is my job as a teacher of mathematics to help students

- learn to think clearly, logically, and analytically.
- understand the essence of the deductive method and mathematical proof.
- learn to express ideas clearly and carefully.
- understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life, science, and technology.
- understand what it means to do research in mathematics.
- see the beauty in mathematics.
- overcome anxiety about mathematics.

I work under the conviction that

- most students will rise to meet high expectations, within reason.
- technology in the mathematics classroom can be a great tool if used properly. Mathematics students should learn to use software as an experimental tool, but must also learn the dangers of interpretation that exist in the interface between human and computer. Students need to learn critical analysis of computer output, and should learn the difference between computer experimentation and proof. Students should not be allowed to substitute "button pushing" for conceptual understanding or computational skills.
- high academic standards should not be sacrificed for reasons of innovative pedagogy.
- there must be a pedagogical balance between motivation of new material, discovery learning, and repetitive "routine" exercises. There is no substitute for a few key experiences of discovery for the student, just as there is no substitute for doing routine exercises.
- teachers should work hard to present the ideas of mathematics in as clear a fashion as possible.
- teachers should try to motivate students to discover some mathematical patterns on their own, apart from the classroom material.
- teachers should provide a good role model in class for approaching, solving, and writing up solutions to mathematical problems.
- teachers should be mentors: respectful, encouraging, and available for help and advice.

Teaching Awards

- Daniel A. Augsburger Excellence in Teaching Award, Andrews University, 2006
- Dorothea and Edgar D. Eaves Teaching Award, University of Tennessee, 1993
- L.P. and Barbara Smith Award for Excellence in Teaching, Duke University, 1991
- L.P. and Barbara Smith Teaching Award, Duke University, 1990

Department of Mathematics /
Andrews University / Berrien Springs, MI 49104 USA