Joe Hilty

I’ll be a senior this fall; I switched to math my junior year, before the math program “officially” existed, because I was excited about doing this degree and then going on to become a math teacher. I will only graduate one semester late, although right now my entire course load is math classes.

I love that math teaches problem solving. You’re given some information and told what you need to figure out, and you have to find your way there. That has many applications inside and outside of math. I’ve talked to Dr. Bintz about his research, and it’s interesting to see the discoveries being made. It’s cool to work on math that has real-world application and to see how researchers are using those skills right now to discover new things in multiple fields.

One of the best parts of Johnson’s program is the small class sizes, which you don’t have at larger institutions. Instead of listening to a lecture and trying to follow along while Dr. Bintz does the problem, I’m doing the problem up at the board and he’s guiding me. If there’s a part that clicks for me easily, we move on. If I’m struggling, we can use half the class period to talk about how the problem works. That’s been absolutely wonderful. Dr. Bintz is great at helping me through the process and knowing when to give help and when to let me figure it out. I love the math program, and even though I got here by way of another major, I’m glad I’m studying math at Johnson.