Teaching Philosophy

Character development—focused on honesty, integrity, and kindness—forms the fabric of my teaching philosophy. I embrace a pedagogy that enables learners to become creators of knowledge and critical thinkers. To advance this vision, I provide a relaxed atmosphere where every student can enjoy the journey of learning through explorations of the wonders of natural phenomena or via the richness of intellectual creations.

My Story

I started teaching in 1997 in New York City. In 1999, I became a graduate student and teaching assistant at Dartmouth College. In 2001, while still in graduate school at Columbia University, I accepted my first full-time university position at The City College of the City University of New York, where I taught graduate courses in education and began training teachers.

In 2003, I accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. After earning tenure (2009) and becoming a full professor (2012), I took a leave of absence in 2013 to explore reviving a small independent school in Mississippi; while it lived, we renamed it MathEcoSpirit Academy.

I returned to my position in Puerto Rico in 2014, but decided to resign in 2015 to teach at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM). There, I produced two series of short videos.

In North Carolina, I co-founded the Chapel Hill Math Circle at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and founded the Triangle Math Teachers’ Circle at North Carolina State University.

In 2016-2017, I taught at three different prisons in North Carolina, through UNC’s correctional education program.

In 2017, I moved to Georgia to teach at South Gwinnett High School, a Title I school in metro Atlanta. During this time, I also began working as an educational consultant for the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival (JRMF) as Director of Festivals (June 2018 – March 2020) and Director of Outreach and Teaching (March 2020 – July 2021).

In February 2019, I received the 2018 Rosenthal Prize for Innovation and Inspiration in Math Teaching awarded by the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath).

In May 2019, I relocated with my family to Florida, while expanding my national and international work with JRMF. In my spare time, I taught at the Alachua Learning Academy and the Bhaktivedanta Academy during 2019-2020. I’m currently teaching at Loften High School in Gainesville.

In October 2019, I was appointed Courtesy Professor with the Department of Mathematics at the University of Florida, an honorary position I still hold.