The mathematics department at Missouri Southern plays a major role in student’s educational life.
Not only does the department help students meet the mathematics portion of the General Education requirements but it offers a multitude of different types of classes. Whether that means getting a bachelor of science in mathematics or taking a single class like, Math for Elementary Teachers, to help advance another degree, the mathematics department is there.
The head of the mathematical department is Dr. Kerry Johnson. He has been in the mathematics department at Southern for the last 20 years. He has been the department chair since 2010.
Johnson has been interested in math ever since he was in high school. “The two column proofs we covered in high school geometry were eye opening for me and that is when I became hooked on the discipline.”
Johnson likes being able to help students and faculty from other departments relate to the field of Mathematics. Johnson stated, “I spend a lot of time helping students into the right math classes and in interacting with other departments to help them decide what math classes are the best for their majors.”
Earlier this year, the mathematics department was able to finally start having classes in the new Nixon Hall building that has been under construction since late spring of 2017. The new building includes faculty offices, classrooms, study areas, and a computer lab. “The new building is amazing!” Johnson said.
Everything that was built in Nixon Hall was done with a purpose. There are some students that might feel stressed when it comes to learning about math but there are learning spaces that can help with that in Nixon Hall.
“We specifically designed the learning spaces within the building to reduce the stress many students feel toward mathematics and to create a comfortable learning environment for the students.” according to Johnson.
Even the classrooms have a specific purpose as to why they were designed the way they are. There are individual tables that were selected for the classrooms. These tables can be rearranged to form small groups. There are also whiteboards on all four walls in the classroom. According to Johnson, the reasoning behind having white board on all four walls is so the entire class can go to the different boards and practice the math problems.
Nixon Hall also has new technology that they can take advantage of in the classroom. According to Johnson, each room has a projector wall where they can supplement their lessons with electronic media and the instructors can write directly on the projection with whiteboard markers.
Students and faculty have given positive feedback to Nixon Hall. “Everyone seems to love the new building.”