J.D. Phillips


"A great teacher is a tough guy who cares deeply about

something that is hard to understand."— Norman Maclean.




For some bewildering reason (narcissism? Asperger's Syndrome?), most mathematics professors put their teaching schedules on this part of their webpage. I take a different approach. On the remote possibility that they might find it useful, I give my students my teaching schedule on the first day of classes each semester. And on the grounds that, should a blood-relative have an especially pressing need for, say, one of my kidneys while I'm off-the-grid teaching, say, linear algebra, I've thoughtfully given our administrative assistants my schedule (i.e., they can find me in a pinch, so that I might at least consider such requests). Why anyone else (say, a lonely web-surfer from Latvia or Zambia) would be interested in what time of day I teach, say, calculus, is hard to say, though the specter of it (vanishingly remote possibility though it is) is genuinely disturbing. So in lieu of a teaching schedule, I've included, on this page, a few useful tidbits about teaching.


For instance, there is this, a very fine explanation of why teaching mathematics is so challenging, hence rewarding.


A teaching schedule is one thing, but a list of courses taught is another thing entirely. So if you would like to see a list of courses I've taught, you may find one on my cv.


Many of my essays, naturally, deal with educational themes.


Here is a link to photos of some of the classes I've taught.


Here is a .pdf version of The Little Giants Math Book, a booklet I wrote on how to succeed in a college mathematics course.


I note that some of the stories from the trenches have a teaching theme.


Here are the three paragraphs about the history of NMU’s Mathematics and Computer Science Department from Russ Magnaghi’s “A Sense of Time: the Encyclopedia of Northern Michigan University,” published in 1999. Seethoff’s headship ended in 2001. Ghulam Zalmai assumed the position after Seethoff. I have been head since 2009.


During this time of plague, I’ve been hosting my zoom meetings, here.