Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Assistant Mathematics Professor Scott A. Morris has been interviewed several times by news media on the likelihood of winning the lottery or the Powerball, especially when they have had very high payoffs.
His research interests include evolution of semiconductor substrates due to ion irradiation, evolution of fully-faceted interfaces, and nanowire formation. More information on these topics are available on his website.
His philosophy of teaching mathematics:
Mathematics is a wonderful subject. Of all the classes a student might take during a college career, I believe mathematics offers some of the greatest potential for overall intellectual development. On the one hand, it is able to describe and explain a wide variety of specific real-world phenomena, while on the other, it requires the use of more general intellectual processes such as abstraction, conceptualization, and logical reasoning that form the building blocks of a mature, thoughtful worldview. Unfortunately, many incoming students neither appreciate nor value the riches math can offer them. This may be due to several factors, including poor experiences in past math classes, a tendency to take math only because it is required, and a more general feeling in society that math is simply ``hard'' and anyway unnecessary to really learn well. But whatever the cause, I believe my role as a teacher of mathematics is to respond to this situation by (a) motivating students to see mathematical concepts as being worthy of their effort, (b) communicating those concepts during classtime in a clear and engaging manner, and (c) facilitating the retainment of those concepts through classroom organization and appropriate technological tools.
Scott Norris in the News