Hello! My name is Joseph Slagel. I am a forth year graduate student in the mathematics department at Virginia Tech. It's a good time here. I have received my Master's Degree and have just started my second year into the Ph.D. program.
Virginia Tech is an awesome place to do Math. Currently I am working with Matthias and Julianne Chung on Stochastic methods to solve very large inverse problems. These are systems where the data might be a couple petabytes in size!
In addition to researching here at tech, I also teach. I have taught various calculus courses each semester since summer of 2014. My goal in the classroom is to foster a mathematical community among the students. When the students are comfortable interacting with each other, asking questions, making mistakes, etc.. that is when real learning can happen.
Unfortunately, classical mathematical teaching methods implicitly (or even explicitly) enforce the idea that math is a task done alone and without purpose. This style of teaching allows students to believe that math is an alienating and useless pursuit. These ideas are not true! Math must be taught as it is used in the real world, communally and with applications in mind.
Life in Blacksburg is pretty enjoyable. I spend my free time playing piano, reading, playing disc golf, reading textbooks, etc.. Feel free to contact me via email or swing by my McBryde Hall office.
My siblings and I, having a blast