Math Professor, Merced College Los Banos Campus

Teaching mathematics at Merced College’s Los Banos Campus for the last 15 years has been one of the most, if not the most, rewarding experiences of my career.

Certainly, there is opportunity for growth in any teaching position, but faculty at the Los Banos Campus have the unique privilege of having the entire full-time faculty in the same hallway.

I can regularly speak and collaborate with professors in history, political science, psychology, sociology, chemistry, physics, English, biology, economics, and communications, as well as our librarian and counselors. There is no other teaching environment like this one.

This semester, I am engaged in a project of “mathematical outreach.” I will have the opportunity to visit classes in subjects other than math to contribute to lectures, observe students, hold workshops to help students in math-dependent subjects and generally collaborate with other professors.

Some of the collaborations have been what one might expect. I have visited an economics class to discuss the Nash Equilibrium for an economy, and I will be contributing to a chemistry course which is also math-heavy. An unexpected invitation came from an English professor teaching a philosophy course, who invited me to come in and lead a discussion on the “Philosophy of Math.”

On no other campus would I be afforded these opportunities. I am truly grateful to be a member of this faculty; I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work with students in a way that offers a “bigger picture” of education; and I look forward to spending the rest of my teaching career in Los Banos with this community.

Jim Bryan