After obtaining my BS (Summa Cum Laude) degree in Industrial Mathematics from The University of Benin in Nigeria, I went on to pursue a PhD in Operations Research from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio. On the way to the doctorate, I also bagged an MS in Industrial Engineering from Syracuse University and an MS in Operations Research from Case Western Reserve University. In case you are wondering, Operations Research, also known as Management Science, is the discipline that uses advanced mathematical and statistical methods in conjunction with computer techniques in solving decision and resource allocation problems.
My mathematics teaching career started as soon as I completed eleventh grade; and has now spanned more than four decades. I started with a two-week stint at an elementary school. Due to my little fame in academics and in particular, mathematics, the principal of my alma mater recruited me to teach 7th and 8th grade mathematics at his high school. Since then I have taught in many schools and colleges. I have also held positions of responsibly in higher education; the summit being head of a mathematics department.
I think I have a clear vision of a good liberal arts education. Even though I am a mathematician, I believe in providing a well-rounded education for students so that they have the skills needed to solve problems or address issues in a more informed manner than the man on the street. I believe in making students understand that basic quantitative reasoning, good communications skills, and competency in computer literacy are a sine qua non in todays competitive world.
My philosophy of teaching is a result of my many years of teaching a variety of courses in a variety of settings to a variety of audiences. I deal with students with a lot of compassion and understanding and yet hold them to high standards. I believe that if you challenge students and give them the resources, including your time, that students will more often than not rise to meet those challenges.
I am an enthusiastic, confident, patient and humorous teacher. I did not confer these things on myself. My student evaluations say so. I enjoy making connections between different subject areas. I attempt to show students that knowledge seems to be compartmentalized for the convenience of investigation and that the solution of real world problems requires us to draw upon knowledge and wisdom from several disciplines. My training in operations research serves to reinforce this last notion.
I believe that I need to be a versatile teacher and I consider myself so, due to the variety of courses I can and have taught, as well as knowing the necessary rigor to apply for a given audience. For example, my experiences as a student and as a teacher have enabled me not only to make statistics understandable to those who are just being exposed to it but also to engage in the rigors of probability and Statistics when necessary.
My classroom sessions are organized to effectively engage the students through active learning, assessment, collaboration and critical thinking. Appropriate technology is then used to help facilitate aspects of this engagement. At the outset, I do an assessment to find out where the students are with respect to their understanding of the subject matter, and then take the students from wherever I find them in the learning process and nurture them to where they are supposed to be. I try not to overwhelm the students with a lot of information in a short time.
I enjoying singing, especially to the Lord. So, I am a member of my church choir where I sing tenor. Although I teach mathematics, I also enjoy reading things that have very little to do with mathematics especially thrillers and mystery novels. I am also a cultural ambassador of my people back in Nigeria The Ijaw people of the Niger Delta.
Undergraduate Degree: The University of Benin Benin City Nigeria - Bachelor of Science, Mathematical Statistics and Probability
Graduate Degree: Case Western Reserve University - Doctor of Philosophy, Operations Research
Singing, reading, cultural activities