As I did not go first, I had a minute or so to run through my academic career to quickly reflect on which moment “sparked the most joy” in my life. Was it achieving one of the highest ranks in the high school exit exam in Lebanon? Was it achieving the highest GPA in my cohort for four consecutive years in my undergraduate studies that got me a full scholarship as a result? Was it being accepted and fully funded to the master’s program at the American University of Beirut, one of the most prestigious universities in the Middle East? Was it being accepted and fully funded to two Ph.D. programs in the US? Was it passing my qualifying exams, then general exams? Was it my first publication with my advisor? Was it defending my dissertation successfully?
I tried to never leave a class not understanding the big picture, even if it meant hijacking the class at times. As I come from an underprivileged, big farming family, I had made a promise (to myself) to always advocate for myself. Now, as I stand on the other side, I wonder if I was that obnoxious, selfish student who only cared about his own learning. Maybe at times I was, but I was also a peer instructor, at least informally.
我有时会想，我对自己的倡导是否将我定义为“叛逆”。例如，我不能容忍在我的本科学习期间“糟糕的教学”。如果你只是通过阅读书中的定理和证明来教授真正的分析，你会得到我作为你学生的一些激烈评论。在实际分析中，这实际上发展成了一种抗议活动，除了两个学生之外，我带领全班同学(Traitors!），抵制讲座并转向主席。如果你的教学风格是问题可以完成“MY方式或NOway”, I probably protested by pointing out a different way of solving a problem. If your style of teaching was dismissive to questions, I stood up in class and demanded, “I’d like you to answer my question before moving on.”
I was fortunate to have only a few of those “bad teaching” experiences in my life. I am very grateful for having some of the most inspirational instructors, starting from elementary school up to my PhD. I am very grateful to have had an amazing Ph.D. advisor, Professor Jonathan Kujawa. I will always cherish his encouragement and support. Most importantly, I am indebted to Professor Nazih Nahlus who taught me during my time at the American University of Beirut. His advice and mentoring paved a path for me to pursue a Ph.D. program in Mathematics. Before chatting with him, I had never heard of a place called Oklahoma, but as he had done a postdoc there, he recommended it to me. I must say I am glad I followed his recommendation because my six years in Norman, OK were an absolutely a wonderful part of my life. I should mention that his deep interest and experience in Algebra has had a profound impact on my interest in the subject. Without his guidance, I would not have been where I am right now.
Maybe it does! Sometimes, I have struggled to communicate my ideas in the “best” (possibly Euro-centric) way. Recent encounters have pushed me to reflect on the way I communicate. Am I phrasing my thoughts in a strong demanding voice? Do I use “I” too much (I’ve been told)? Am I too direct? Does my advocacy for my ideas come across as “rude”?
也许对一些人!反思我的struggle with the academic job market in 2014 gives me this impression. I had many phone, Skype, and even on-campus interviews. On paper, I still think I was highly qualified, but nothing panned out. In April, I was still searching for a job, and self-doubt had started to sink in. “What’s wrong with me?” is an inevitable response to rejection letters/emails. They have found someone else who was a better fit. A “better fit”? But I excelled at schooling, teaching, and research; that can’t be it. What is it? Now looking back at that time, I think my lack of success on the job market might have been more about communicating in a “certain” way, a skill that was not part of my training at that time.
博士。土耳其胡塞is currently an associate professor of Mathematics at the University of New Haven. He is the Mathematics Coordinator at the University, a University Research Scholar, and a Faculty Fellow at their Center of Teaching Excellence. Before that, he completed his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Oklahoma in 2014, where he studied Representation Theory of Lie Superalgebras.
毕业后，他在本科大学教育（RUME）中对定性和定量研究的敏锐感兴趣。他在这一领域的主要兴趣之一正在研究本科教室中培养数学创造力的方法。自2014年以来，他一直是多机构的一部分创意研究小组studying mathematical creativity, which has secured an NSF-IUSE grant to explore connections between mathematical creativity and mathematical identity in the Calculus classroom. He co-authored several publications and presentations in RUME.
Outside of academics, he enjoys cooking Lebanese food and being on the tennis court.