Shoshana Asher



Successs is in the Numbers

How long have you been an educator at GGU?

I have been here at GGU every trimester since May 1996.

What was your major, and where did you graduate from?

I have the MA degree in Applied Mathematics from the Universtiy of California at Berkeley.

Why do you enjoy teaching mathematics and algebra in particular?

I am, by my very nature, a very analytical person. I like working with abstract ideas and concepts, bringing them to life via mathematical equations, formulas, techniques, and procedures. Mathematics has this built-in objectivity that just deals in truth, exactness, and precision.

I enjoy teaching (and tutoring) mathematics because it allows me the opportunity to open up the envelope, figuratively speaking, and help my students understand analytical concepts (in a hands-on kind of way) that increases, expands, and broadens their knowledge bank. I think it is true that being confident in one’s mathematical thinking skills most often translates to a quiet confidence in one’s orientation and perspective about life in general.

Mathematics is in everything. Algebra is just a very bottom-line way of logically modeling physical phenomena we see and interact with every day in the environment we live in. For instance, we study parallel and perpendicular lines in the rectangular plane in Algebra. If you live in the City, streets most often run parallel and perpendicular to each other. Of course, there are curved streets, but mathematics has all kinds of equations to describe these trajectory paths as well. Understanding the basics of algebra helps one function better on any geographical, physical, or mental terrain.

Do you think that students require a good working knowledge of algebra for whatever field they are going into?

I think that it is certainly a great asset. Thinking logically and consistently, up against a set of rules, definitions, and procedures is a good benefit in any field of study.

Any recommendations as to how to improve one’s study habits and overall comprehension of mathematics and algebra?

Attend class. Listen to your instructor. Do your homework assignments (check out your assignments to determine how much time you need to complete  them, then be very certain to NOT WAIT until the latest moment possible to start working on it). If you need help, seek it out – be it from your peers, tutors, or instructors. Always remember that your course is only for 16 weeks (or 8 weeks) out of your life. Commit yourself to it for the appropriate time frame.