# Michael Stueben

I am a math/computer science teacher at Thomas Jefferson High school for Science and Technology.

I began teaching in 1975. Somehow, mathematics, and high school teaching have taken over my life. They have

become my hobbies as well as my profession.

In 1998, the Mathematical Association of America published my book Twenty Years Before the Blackboard.

In 2006 I was awarded (by the MAA) the Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished High School Mathematics Teaching.

I am currently interested in Java programming, genetic algorithms, and networks.

My philosophy of teaching mathematics is that REALLY GOOD problems are the heart of mathematics teaching.

All of the American mathematical textbooks I have examined do not have enough of these problems.

The solution is to begin to collect problems on your own from 1) foreign textbooks (the Russian MIR publishers in particular),

2) Mathematical journals, 3) puzzle books, 4) colleagues, and 5) your own mind. Eventually, stop using your

textbook, or use it only occasionally. I like to quiz my students several times at every 90-minute meeting.

Finally, the Santa Fe Institute experience and reading Melanie Mitchell's book Complexity have had quite an impact

on my views of networks, genetic algorithms, and surprisingly, evolution (Chapter 18 in Complexity).

--Mike Stueben (mastueben@fcps.edu)