Think you are terrible at math? Dr. Erin Martin wants to invite you to a party.
“I find mathematics fascinating, and I love sharing that with students,” she says about why she teaches math at Westminster College. “I want other people to enjoy it too. It’s like getting to invite people to a math party – I want to include them. Teaching is the best way to do that.”
That desire to share what she loves helps her lead Westminster students to their full potential, even the ones who enter the classroom with a fear of math class.
To help students overcome their fears, Martin likes to talk to them about what they are really scared of.
“The problem is often something they associate with math – not math itself,” she says.
“I talk one-on-one with students to find out what’s really going on. We brainstorm things we can do together to overcome their fears.”
It’s easy for roadblocks to learning to occur when a student is told they are no good at math or has encountered classrooms where they have felt “stupid.” But Martin says, in her classroom, there’s no such thing as a stupid question.
“I want to convince every one of my students that I have faith in them. It’s all about how much you are learning. It’s not about where you start – it’s where you are going.”
What to expect in Dr. Martin’s classroom
- Lots of dialogue
- Reinforcement that you can do anything that she sets before you
- Challenge, plus the support to accomplish the tasks
About Dr. Martin
Dr. Martin’s passion for teaching brought her to Westminster College in August 2008 after she completed her Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Arkansas in May of that year. Since then she has had the pleasure of teaching a variety of courses including Elementary Statistics (MAT 114), Calculus I (MAT 124), Linear Algebra (MAT 215), Calculus III (MAT 224), and Differential Equations (MAT 312). She is particularly interested in working with undergraduates on research in mathematics.
Besides working with students to conduct research in her own areas of geometric analysis and partial differential equations, she has led projects on topics ranging from graph theory to applied math.
Outside of Westminster, she enjoys reading (mostly science-fiction/fantasy novels), baking, swing dancing, and spending time with friends and family.