Faculty Stars: Braxton Carrigan

man holding math object

✉️ Deliver to:

Dr. Braxton Carrigan
Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics

Dear Professor,

You have been my inexhaustibly patient informal advisor. You entertain my half-baked math questions. You offer direction on my independent research. With your recommendation, I was invited to visit a graduate school recruitment program in October. We recently published a result on a problem that I learned about from your math colloquium series last year. I learned LaTeX as a direct consequence of our co-authorship. With your help, I have learned math subtopics and been allowed opportunities that otherwise would have been inaccessible to me. If I am admitted to graduate school next year, it will be impossible to overstate your influence. On top of all that, you are fun and energetic about math. Southern is represented well by you, Dr. Carrigan, and I feel lucky to have worked with you.”

Thank you,
David Diaz, ’19 ?

About Braxton Carrigan

Favorite Teaching Moment:

My favorite “memory” is a bit more general. When a student comes into a course claiming to “hate math” and then at some point says, “you know, this is really fun” or “that’s cool,” it’s incredibly rewarding. One of the funnier instances of this happened during a summer course. The student was taking the only required math course for roughly the 4th time. About halfway through the course, she came up to me and said, “I think if I had you sooner, I may have wanted to learn all this crap! It really isn’t that bad and you do seem to enjoy it.”

Teaching Philosophy:

Students have to be active participants in the learning process. Mathematics is not a spectator sport! Getting students engaged helps them develop problem-solving skills, activates inquiry, and gives them ownership of their knowledge. Most importantly, it trains them to be life long learners, which I believe is the key for success as the world changes so much throughout our lifetime.

Favorite Course to Teach:

MAT 250 – Foundations of Mathematics: This course serves as the gateway to most upper-level mathematics courses. Majors encounter the foundations of mathematical abstraction and develop the inquiry needed for a career in mathematics. I love to be a part of students’ growth and development as abstract thinkers!

Recent Courses Taught:

  • MAT 150: Calculus 1
  • MAT 178: Elementary Discrete Mathematics
  • MAT 260: Geometry in the Arts