A Great Place to Learn — and Work!
What makes Bridgewater State University a great place to work? Faculty, librarians and staff share why they love BSU.
Dr. Vignon Oussa
First, can you share what you teach as a Mathematics professor?
I teach several courses in the undergraduate math curriculum. Among the long list of courses, I have taught, I often teach Multivariable Calculus and Geometry. These are courses where students learn powerful methods for solving concrete and abstract problems. Students learn to carry out careful and rigorous calculations and make logically sound arguments. When I teach Geometry, I often get students to actively solve problems in class and present them to their peers. This provides students with an opportunity to realize that doing mathematics can be both a solitary as well as a social endeavor.
Why did you want to teach at BSU?
One of the axiomatic beliefs of the scientific endeavor hinges on the assumption that the universe has a discernible structure that can be pinned down and communicated. The language of this structure has a name: Mathematics. I teach because I want everyone to learn this universal language and appreciate its beauty, complexity, and applicability.
What do you like best about being in the classroom?
Helping students surprise themselves by discovering that they can acquire mathematical concepts they may have judged are outside their conceptual reach. I want to guide students in this journey of overcoming old math phobia and getting rid of false assumptions regarding mathematical abilities. This is often challenging because the cultural landscape is unfriendly to mathematics and its practitioners. For instance, people would shy from disclosing their struggles with reading and comprehension but are often surprisingly eager to proclaim the problematic relationship they have developed with the subject of mathematics over the years. I try my best in the classroom to provide an environment where students can reestablish a more positive rapport with a subject that has played an essential role in my personal life.
[Bridgewater’s] obvious commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, not just in word but in practice, was exceptional and appealed to me. There’s a lot of deep knowledge in this college about what’s happening out in the communities.” Read more »