1. Why did you decide to go into math? Math was what he was naturally good at and what he enjoyed. 2. Why did you decide to become a teacher? When he was in college he gave teaching a try and found that he really enjoyed it. 3. How often do students come into office hours? Not nearly enough. 4. What do you value most in a student outside of work ethic? A desire and want to learn and to discover new things. 5. What do you like and dislike about being a professor? He enjoys the interaction with students, but dislikes the way in which students have to be taught; he wants greater student engagement in class. 6. What careers can a math degree lead to? Actuary, Finance, and Math Teacher. 7. What is the most interesting research or project you have done? N.A. 8. If you ever taught other math classes which did you enjoy teaching the most? He enjoyed teaching Calculus 3 the most as it allowed him the greatest amount of visualization and real world application. 9. How long have you been teaching? 26 years. 10. Did you start as a math major or did you switch majors? He started out as an Engineering major, then switched to Business, and then switched to Mathematical Sciences.
Professor Alan Guest
i) I chose to interview this professor because he is very good at teaching a difficult subject and in addition he is a teacher of classes that are my majors focus.
ii) For some of the answers I was surprised by how honest he was, as usually the expected and most comfortable viewpoint for people to expose is a positive one; as there is no controversy attached.
iii) I learned that professors are actively working together to try and bring about different and more active learning places for students. They also like to test new ways of thinking in order to make teaching more effective. I also was not aware that professors so frequently had to do work related things over the weekend. I also learned that my professor enjoys teaching Calculus 3 the most because of its practical/real world application and because of how visual it is. My professor also told me that he did not start out as a Mathematical Sciences major, but that he instead switched around from Engineering to Business to Math.
iv) This experience has opened my eyes to more of the difficulties that some professors have to go through. Specifically in how much work professors have to do for their classes, as many students probably do not expect that professors do not have to do that much over the weekend. It has also made me aware of how much they value learning and teaching over education.
v) I also learned just how much professors desire interaction between their students and themselves. They are much more eager to talk with students than I think most students realize, even being told that professors are a certain way until it is experienced it is hard to comprehend.