“Even though we are in Colorado, we still haven’t legalized dividing by 0.” Professor Rod Switzer brings humor into his lectures from every possible angle (no pun intended). This is one of the reasons why most students have enjoyed taking his classes. He is able to make students laugh and smile during his job as lecturer at Colorado School of Mines.
Like many Mines students, Professor Nigel Kelly began his time in college knowing he was good at science but not knowing what direction to take from there. Originally Professor Kelly did not even want to go to college, as he was more interested in music, but with a little encouragement from his mother he applied and was accepted into the University of Sydney. He then took a gap year and traveled. Upon reflection during his year off from school Kelly realized he was “really really good at science,” always getting his best grades in these classes. But during high school his “passion was always ancient history and politics and music, but science was actually more what [he] was able to do.”
For a man that needs no introduction, Dr. Mark Seger is perhaps the most well-known professor on campus. Most students, whether fond of the doctor or not, have experienced his unique teaching style and command a great respect for him. Seger has potentially taught the most students on campus at least once, attributing to his impact on the Mines community as a whole.
Calculus I is a standard first-year core class at Mines and one the vast majority of students here are familiar with. For this reason, it is not surprising that many students roll their eyes when Professor Gregory Johnson uses his famous line “you don’t know it because I haven’t taught you yet!” What initially sounds like hubris turns out to be gentle honesty as Johnson amazes his class with a seemingly impossible equation. As the students release a sigh of realization, the professor turns towards his class with a grin on his face and asks, “How about another example?”
“How hard is the test?” an anxious Physics I student asked Professor Kristine Callan the week before the course’s first exam. “Well, I took it last night and got a C+,” Callan replied. The class went silent. Then anxious murmurs arose. “Guys, I’m just kidding. I haven’t taken it yet,” Callan said and nervous laughter filled the room. Though perhaps slightly cruel, witty responses is one of the many ways Callan both teaches and amuses her physics students.
All students at Mines need to master the fundamentals of Calculus to succeed. While some students gobble up math problems for breakfast, others absolutely despise it. Mr. Bridgman, a math professor here at Mines, had a few things to say about teaching here in Golden.
Everyone knows that Mines has an excellent reputation within the engineering realm. This is partly due to our faculty and the research they do. One faculty member with the most prestigious of backgrounds is Professor Christopher Higgins, whose wall displays degrees from both Harvard and Stanford.
For those pursuing an Environmental Engineering degree, Josh Sharp is either already a familiar name or soon will be. Professor Sharp is a newer faculty member in the environmental department and focuses on areas involving microbiology, biogeochemistry, and their relation to water treatment.
Since his inception, WolframAlpha, or Alpha for short, has been a favorite professor among students at the Colorado School of Mines. Alpha has become a go-to guy for solving tough derivatives, plotting weird functions, doing Laplace transforms, and even doing simple arithmetic when TI-84 was not available during her office hours. “I’m especially talented at computational knowledge,” said WolframAlpha.