Contributors to this blog are instructors in the University of Michigan Department of Mathematics, who are teaching and involved with a range of our undergraduate courses. They are:
Mark Conger: Mark came to the U. of Michigan a long time ago to be a math grad student, and finally received his Ph.D. in 2007. He is now a lecturer in the Comprehensive Studies Department. He is interested in enumerative combinatorics and discrete probability. He likes to write programs as well as do math. For the last 8 years Mark has been teaching and developing the Douglass Houghton Scholars Program. DHSP is a workshop for first-year calculus students in the style of the Emerging Scholars Program developed by Uri Treisman at Berkeley and the University of Texas. It’s been modified heavily for use at Michigan. For the last 13 summers Mark has been an instructor for the Michigan Math and Science Scholars, a summer enrichment program for high school students. And for the past three summers, Mark taught a course called Math 104 in Michigan’s Bridge program. It’s designed to teach some of the great ideas of mathematics to liberal arts students.
Stephen DeBacker: As an undergraduate, Stephen DeBacker was inspired to pursue mathematics by renowned teaching masters Gerald Alexanderson and Paul Halmos. He survived graduate school thanks largely to the enthusiastic and effective mentoring of his thesis advisor, the legendary Paul J. Sally, Jr. He tries to pay forward some small part of his debt to these great teachers by working to inspire the next generation of scholars. Since arriving at the University of Michigan in 2002, he has served as director of the Michigan Math Circle, the Michigan Math and Science Scholars, and the Michigan Mathematics Undergraduate Program. He has also worked with elementary and secondary school teachers through the SESAME program (in both Chicago and Boston). In 2011 he was appointed as an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and in 2012 he was named Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year for Michigan.
Gavin LaRose: Gavin started graduate school assuming that he wouldn’t end up teaching mathematics, and left to take a teaching position at a small liberal arts college. There was a change in direction in the middle of that section of his career. At the University of Michigan he works in instructional technology and teaches. In the former capacity he has developed on-line homework and gateway testing content, and creates and manages on-line and technological resources and tools supporting the Department’s undergraduate courses. In the latter he helps facilitate the Department’s Introductory Program and IBL courses, and works on the Department’s new instructor training program.