Dr. Jeff Beyerl, assistant professor in the department of mathematics, shared about his personal life and what it is like teaching math at UCA.
Beyerl spent his childhood years in Florida before moving to South Carolina for college. At Clemson University in South Carolina for undergraduate, he got his degree in mathematics, specializing in number theory.
“I did an undergraduate degree in pure math and that focuses on how math works. Then I did a graduate degree, a PhD in number theory,” Beyerl said.
For his graduate degree, he went to the University of Central Florida.
“Going from South Carolina from Florida was a big shock. Florida is both very northern and very diverse and going from that to what we have here, it’s different. Life’s a lot slower. Life’s a lot more homogeneous,” Beyerl said.
Beyerl has been working at UCA for five years. He is currently teaching Calculus 1, Number Theory, Discrete Math and statistics.
Beyerl said Calculus 1 is his favorite class to teach.
“It is the perfect storm of material that is fun, students that are fun to teach, and content that I can get interested in” Beyerl said.
Although he enjoys teaching calculus, it was not his favorite as a student.
“My favorite course as a student was Complex Analysis, maybe a close second with Abstract Algebra. I liked Calculus, but it was not as fun as a student as it is to teach,” Beyerl said.
If he could teach any other class it would be Advanced Calculus, which he has been trying to get every year, and fortunately has been given to teach in the fall.
“The department was the big selling point for me. We have something very special here for what we have with math and math education. Math education is usually in a different department. Here, they are in the same department. Everyone gets along, we work together … we go to each others seminars, talk about the different things, and it’s a wonderful environment,” Beyerl said.
Outside of school, Beyerl has a few hobbies including carpentry work on his fixer-upper house and biking around town playing Pokemon.
He also has standard standard hobbies of going on dates with his significant other and going to church.
For the past 10 years, Beyerl has been biking instead of driving. He had a car in college and sold it after graduation.
“Having a car was stressful for me and I also constantly feel like I’m doing something good for the environment,” Beyerl said.
“I do rent a car when I need to drive places and ironically enough I do have car insurance, because when I rent a car, you still need insurance to be on the road,” Beyerl said. “It’s a lot cheaper than when you own a car, but I still have it because I still drive.”
Regardless of weather, he bikes to school every morning to teach.
“My goal is to give my students the best education I can and I mean that literally. When I look at a course I am teaching I try to figure out how can I structure that course and every day in class I try to think about what are we doing today, what’s the best way to get the students to learn and understand, appreciate and enjoy this material,” Beyerl said.
Beyerl said all professors have something they love the most about teaching.
“I love when a student gets a grade in a course that they are excited about. It brings a lot of joy to my heart to see the student succeed,” Beyerl said.