COSAM News Articles 2020 April COSAM Inspired Chris Hill to Teach Math and He Inspires the Next Generation

COSAM Inspired Chris Hill to Teach Math and He Inspires the Next Generation

Published: 04/21/2020

By: Melanie Vynalek

Auburn graduate Chris Hill inspires others to pursue a career in mathematics, just as his College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) instructors did for him.

Hill is an assistant professor at Middle Georgia State University, yet prior to this role, he spent almost a decade enhancing and furthering his mathematics education at Auburn.

Hill’s undergraduate mathematics professor at a different institution – Auburn alumnus Dr. John VanCleave – encouraged him to attend graduate school.

“At that point, I knew I wanted to be a college mathematics professor,” Hill said.

During his first two years at Auburn, Hill researched general topology with Jo Heath, and concentrated his degree in this area. After receiving a Master of Science in Mathematics in 1993, he stayed at Auburn to pursue his doctorate.

Hill then became highly interested in linear algebra, and worked with Tin-Yau Tam on several research projects, eventually finding his desired focus and developing it into his doctoral dissertation.

Hill graduated from Auburn, again, in 2001 with a Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics. Immediately following graduation, he accepted a position at Middle Georgia State University, and has excelled in it ever since.

“As a professor, I engage in three main areas of work: teaching, scholarship, and service,” Hill said.

While teaching is primary, Hill finds all areas of his work important, and is constantly figuring out ways to balance his time among all three.

Each semester, Hill teaches 12 credit hours of mathematics courses, ranging across all undergraduate levels and disciplines. This semester, Hill’s courses include Linear Algebra, Plane Trigonometry, Elementary Statistics, and Introduction to Mathematical Modeling.

“Over the years, I have had many students who say I inspired them to become a math major. Three of our graduates are now colleagues of mine in our math department. Some of our graduates are now high school math teachers, but many of them are working in industry and government,” Hill said.

In addition to instructing courses, Hill serves on various committees to further the work of Middle Georgia State University’s mathematics and statistics department. In recent years, Hill engaged in linear algebraic research, resulting in two publications in peer-reviewed math journals.

Hill advises current COSAM students to take advantage of every opportunity, to engage with professors and peers, to seek guidance early and often, and to be proactive in learning about potential careers.

“Be a life-long learner,” he said. “Remember, learning does not stop after graduation. This will lead to success and fulfillment of your dreams.”


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