Assistant Professor of Mathematics
I believe every student is entitled to and capable of experiencing success and joy in math. Too often, people have poor experiences with mathematics and miss out on some of the most powerful tools human beings have created. In aim to create a space that welcomes and serves everyone. I believe the only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics. If you put in the effort, I am confident you will be rewarded with growth, and I want to help you along that path. Mathematics is learned through learning from mistakes, making revisions, and collaborations. Asking questions is strongly encouraged and even necessary to learn science and mathematics on a deep level. I believe if one student has a question, so do others. If I have not explained an idea fully, I am happy to back up and try another explanation. One of the biggest missed opportunities for students is not asking questions! Never feel dumb asking questions; I am happy to discuss your thoughts, questions, or concerns at any time.
I have always enjoyed mathematics from an early age, and I became fascinated at how equations on a piece of paper could describe the reality around us. Sometime in high school, I decided to become a high-school teacher. I found that I enjoyed helping others understand mathematical concepts. In 2005, I went to Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania as a dual mathematics and physics major. I also joined the school dance ensemble (swing, breakdance, and Irish hard-shoe) and choir (bass). My desire to teach was enhanced during my time as an undergraduate, and I made the decision to teach at the college level. After I graduated, I got accepted to the doctoral program in mathematics at North Carolina State University. As a graduate student, I was the sole instructor for 7 courses, including a senior-level course called abstract algebra. It was during these years I began developing my teaching philosophy. During my last year there, I tried meeting girls through Match.com. I eventually met a girl named Erika, who wound up becoming my future wife. In 2014, I accepted my first professorship at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, and Erika came with me. During my 3 years at SHC, I incorporated and tried numerous teaching methods and techniques to increase the interactivity in my lectures. I was also introduced to the concept of mastery grading, which I now use exclusively in all my classes. Erika and I got married in October 2016, and the year after that I joined the mathematics department at Florida Southern College. I changed locations so that I could be more involved with students and have more support for student research.
I spend a lot of time learning new things related to my research or interests, which involves reading many text books. Other than math, some things I enjoy doing are bowling, playing disc golf, playing Dance Dance Revolution, playing video games (old and new, a lot of Zelda), playing guitar, traveling, and petting our cat Brando.
North Carolina State University, Mathematics, Ph.D., July 2014
North Carolina State University, Mathematics, M.S., December 2011
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Mathematics, B.S., May 2009
North Carolina State University
- Thank-a-Teacher Recipient, Spring 2012
- C.R. Reardin Memorial Award for Outstanding Student of Mathematics
- Levi Grey Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement in Physics
- S.M.A.R.T. Grant
- Kozloff Scholarship received for Independent Study in Abstract Algebra
I have mentored several teams of students to participate in the SIMIODE Challenge Using Differential Equations Modeling (SCUDEM). The SCUDEM challenge comprises student teams of three to create and justify a mathematical model for a given situation. The students have one week to create their model, then all teams present their solution at a local site. The students have been very successful at these events, and even published their experience in an undergraduate journal:
“Using Differential Equations to Model Predator-Prey Relations as Part of SCUDEM Modeling Challenge” Students: Nathan Hallmark, Zachary Fralish, Jonathan Marshal
Submitted to the International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education (Apr., 2020)
“Using Differential Equations to Model Predator-Prey Relations as Part of SCUDEM Modeling Challenge” Students: Anthony Stefan, Zachary Fralish, Bernard Tyson III
Accepted for publication in Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Math Journal (Aug, 2019)