Dr. Gerard Buskes

Professor of Mathematics and Coordinator of Calculus for the Croft Institute

Professor Buskes received his Ph.D. from the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands in 1983. He has taught at the University since 1985, in the Honors College since 1999, and in the Croft Institute since 2002. He was Freshman Teacher of the year in 1992 and Liberal Teacher of the year in 2016. Buskes has published some 65 research papers, more than 100 reviews, and a book by Springer Verlag Publishing Company (with the cool front cover of Ants on Moebious Strip by Escher). Buskes was Managing Editor of the International Study Group for the Relations between History and Pedagogy of Mathematics Newsletter from 1996 to 1999. He currently is editor of the Journal "Positivity" published by Birkhauser Verlag and he has been the recipient of a number of important grants, including four consecutive GAANN grants from the U.S. Department of Education to increase minority and female participation at the Mathematics Graduate Level at the University since 2000. Gerard also received in 2011 the University of Mississippi's "Excellence in Promoting Inclusiveness in Graduate Education Award."

In his capacity as Coordinator of Calculus for the Croft Institute, Dr. Buskes teaches Mathematics 271. Math 271 has two main objectives. The first goal is to review the basics of calculus and, by the end of the course, to achieve a complete understanding of Lagrange's way of solving constrained optimization. The second goal is to instill enthusiasm for mathematics. By starting with easy puzzles and gradually introducing mathematics to solve them, the instructor hopes to achieve two things: to make students independent thinkers who are fully aware of the power and utility of mathematics, and to infuse them with enthusiasm and joy--perhaps even love--for the way of thinking that mathematics provides. If all goes as planned, students by the end of the class will be "thinking reeds," rather than "calculating machines."

Courses Taught [v]