Program Improvement Lead
My name is Sam Fleischer and I am a second-year Ph.D. student in Applied Mathematics. I use mathematical models to study feedback loops between ecological interactions and evolution of species. I am particularly interested in how these “eco-evo” interactions are affected by parasitism. I am also a TA and AI for the math department.
I began tutoring math when I was in the 9th grade. Teaching eventually turned into a passion of mine; one of the greatest feelings I experience is when I see a tough concept finally “click” for a student. Their realizations are often accompanied by a smile, a deep breath, and an “ohhhh!” These moments are why I love teaching – learning is beautiful!
As an undergraduate student, I studied acting before dropping out of art school to change my major to math. As a hobby, I also played keyboard and sang in a band. I try to take some of the performance techniques I’ve learned on stage into the classroom because I believe students learn better when they’re entertained and engaged.
The reason I applied to be a TA consultant was to open educators’ eyes to the magic and possibility of performance. I believe we should plan our lectures like Shakespeare – with exposition, plot, and moral. We should build and release suspense like Bach – with counterpoint, recursion, and subtlety. We should convince our students like politicians – with emotion, intonation, and repetition. And we should be graceful in our transitions like dancers – with purpose and without apology.
When I’m not working, I like hanging out in backyards, playing video games and board games, watching sports, playing music, watching movies, listening to podcasts, and drinking wine with my wife.