ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MATHEMATICS
Judy Gill sees the world through the lens of mathematics. When looking at a blue sky, she thinks about planets and elliptical orbits. The ocean tides bring trigonometry functions to mind. “It’s a universal language and we can understand each other through math,” Gill says.
An associate professor of mathematics and co-chair of the Math department at the Norfolk Campus, Gill brings her passion for mathematics to the classroom, helping students understand difficult formulas, abstract calculations and even personal finances. “Sometimes students don’t understand student loan repayment plans or credit cards with compound interest, and I make it a point to review those areas in class.”
From the time she was old enough to “play school” with her younger sister, Gill enjoyed teaching. “We’d spend hours at the chalk board as I taught ‘class.’ Now I can’t imagine doing anything else,” Gill adds.
Gill teaches a variety of math classes at the college, from traditional to online to hybrid courses. “This is an exciting time to teach math because of all of the technology that’s available from the SMART board to math websites to 3-D visualization,” Gill notes. “It’s important to keep students’ learning styles in mind, and to do many activities in the classroom to build skills.”
Connecting with her students come naturally to Gill because she’s been in their shoes. “I know what’s it’s like to juggle family and school,” Gill says. “I have an open classroom and encourage discussion and questions. And I welcome students to visit during office hours.”
A faculty advisor for the math honor society, Mu Alpha Theta, Gill notes that the group does math activities, enters contests and even provides study assistance during final exam weeks. “It’s interesting to see things from the students’ perspectives, to see what they find interesting.”
Helping students overcome obstacles and reach math goals, Gill initiated and helped train the tutors for an online tutoring service at the Norfolk Campus. “I believe everyone can learn math, even the most difficult concepts,” Gill says, “And this service puts help just a click away.” The online tutoring service may soon be available college-wide.
“Math is so necessary,” Gill says. “And it’s my calling to teach and share knowledge with as many students as possible.”