professional portfolio
A General Philospohy
Faculty Development

teaching at a glance


General philosophy

The following goals broadly shape my teaching efforts:

  • engage students in thought-provoking and meaningful learning activities
  • use authentic, educative types of assessment
  • encourage and stimulate broader interest in and curiosity about the subject
  • foster and promote independent thinking
  • address the needs of a diverse student body through teaching style, learning activities and assessments.



Chemical Principles Laboratory (CHEM 181L)

Taught: Fall 2007, 2006, 2005 & 2004

Course description: This course sets a foundation for scientific inquiry, motivates and emphasizes scientific writing, explores chemistry through computation and experiment, and exposes students to current research and literature in a variety of chemistry-driven fields.

Overriding goal: Students will begin understand how to think like a scientist.

Student comments (unsolicited):

“This class taught me how to think critically and make connections, and those are skills necessary for success in any class (and in life!).

“I wanted to take this opportunity to apologize for all the grief I gave you over your course, which was in fact one of the best learning experiences I've ever had.

Course evaluations (Fall 2004-Fall 2007)


Falling from Infinity (USEM)

Taught: Fall 2009, Spring 2009

Course description: This thing we call infinity fills our dreams and sparks our imaginations, yet it lies just beyond our reach, lurking in the shadows, evading our questions.  Our curiosity compels us to ask: what is infinity?  Whether it is something innumerable, something vast, or eternal, infinity shapes our philosophies and religions, influences our arts and literatures, and drives our mathematics and sciences.  Blake sees infinity in a grain of sand; van Gogh glimpses it in starry nights; Cantor unlocks infinities within infinities; and Hawking finds it in the dark corners of our Universe.  In this class, we will imagine the infinite and the infinitesimal by looking through the eyes of these and other great thinkers.

Overriding goal: Students will begin to think critically about how people in different disciplines imagine infinity and to begin to shape their own view of infinity.

Student comments (unsolicited):

"This class really made me think in ways I never thought I would have and opened my eyes to different kinds of learning that, gasp, one might even begin to call fun."

"I have truly enjoyed this course and learned a lot more about myself."