Assistant Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Chair of the Department
Mike Smith teaches combinatorics, matrix algebra and abstract algebra and is passionate about active learning and classroom equity for kinesthetic learners. He has been known to try everything from contra dancing to canoeing to card games in order to make math real for students. He is also known for holding “Fun Fridays” in all of his classes.
Smith has earned several teaching awards: Junior Faculty Teaching Award, Lycoming College, Spring 2016; All-University Graduate Teaching Award, University of Virginia, Spring 2006; Mathematics Department Teaching Award, University of Virginia, Fall 2005; Seven Society Award for Superb Teaching, University of Virginia, Spring 2004.
Smith’s current scholarship is in the area of mathematics education. His publications include:
- Smith, Michael D. “Sharks, Minnows, and Wheelbarrows: Calculus Modeling Projects.” PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies 21.2 (2011): 197-209. Print.
- Smith, Michael D. “The Parity Theorem Shuffle.” PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies 26.1 (2016): 19-28. Print.
- Smith, Michael D. “Introducing Abelian Groups with Bullseyes and Jenga.” PRIMUS: Problems, Resources Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies 26.1 (2016): 197- 205. Print.
- Smith, Michael D. “The Euclidean Discus Toss.” Touch it, Feel it, Learn It: Tactile Learning in the Undergraduate Mathematics Classroom. Eds. Julie Barns and Jessica Mikhaylov. In Press. Print.
PRIMUS is a refereed journal for innovative approaches to teaching college level mathematics.
He earned his B.A. in mathematics from Connecticut College and his Ph.D. in algebra from the University of Virginia.
When he's not working, Mike's hobbies include hiking, chess, listening to music and playing cards.