She’s taught more than 36 years of math classes, co-chaired the Math Department for 12 years and attended 28 spring Math Days. She remembers being one of only seven women on the entire UF faculty and attending a Math Society event in England where they thought she was serving tea.
If being a woman and a math professor has presented some challenges in the past, Anne Albert wouldn’t have changed anything. She retires this summer after 36 years in the Mathematics Department. Prior to coming to UF, she taught at Purdue University and the University of Illinois. When she began teaching at The University of Findlay in 1979, she was the only woman in the science and math departments. It didn’t seem to make a difference. Anne Albert will always be a teacher.
Continually cultivating her teaching skills, Albert has attended many conferences that address teaching. She spoke on “Teaching with Technology – Why not use that SMART Board in your Classroom?” at UF’s first Teaching Symposium in March 2015. She’s also encouraged that the University is hiring math faculty with doctorates and committed to teaching.
“There are certain things that are important in teaching math,” she added. “You need to do assessments all the time and stick to your syllabus. It’s the only way to give your students the best instruction”. She has consistently enjoyed improving her presentation of the material and working with students until they understand the mathematics.
A Changing Environment?
Although many faculty and students may feel things are always changing at The University of Findlay, Albert isn’t so quick to agree.
“We’re larger than when I started, but haven’t gotten too large,” she said. “We still focus on the individual student.”
According to Albert, international students aren’t new to UF. She says there were many international students when she started teaching and she’s always enjoyed learning about their backgrounds and cultures.
She does admit that one change is in the use of technology in her teaching. She has embraced using graphing calculators, SMART Boards, math software and online assignments.
“Whatever technology you use, students must learn to understand the concepts and not just manipulate the numbers,” she stressed.
The UF math program includes two applied majors that could lead students to jobs that are currently in high demand: engineering and actuarial science. Albert said that there are many career areas where math majors are successful. Approximately half of the recent graduates of the program are planning to teach middle or high school math. Four or five 2015 graduates are attending graduate schools for mathematics, computer science or statistics. One recent graduate is in the solar energy field.
“Locally, both Marathon and Cooper hire math majors,” Albert stated. “There are also positions in banking and in the military.”
The next step
Although she doesn’t plan to “officially” teach after her retirement, Albert admitted, “Teachers are people helpers.” She has a June U.S. mission trip to help with construction and teach a Bible school and also looks forward to spending more time with her mother in Rochester, New York. Her husband Jim Albert, a statistics professor at Bowling Green State University, speaks at many conferences and now she’ll be able to accompany him.
Albert is also a dedicated “birder,” having enjoyed the hobby for several years. She’s looking forward to taking others who are new to the bird world to places along Lake Erie and sharing her expertise. If you see this publicized, don’t hesitate to sign up. She’s bound to teach you something!