Know Your Professor: Donna Beers

December 08, 2015

Donna Beers

Professor Beers won the 2015 teaching award from the Northeastern section of the Mathematical Association of America!

What's your favorite class to teach?

I love showing my students the vitality of mathematics and its relevance to whatever field they choose to pursue. For this reason, 200-level courses such as discrete mathematics and linear algebra are favorites because of the wide variety of applications we get to explore.

What's your favorite book? 

For nonfiction, I enjoy biographies. I met David McCullough at an event where he was discussing his new book on Wilbur and Orville Wright and their flight experiments at Kitty Hawk. One of my most favorite books is his work, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, made me feel closer to the painters, sculptors and "medicals" from Boston.

Fill in the blank: When I was in college...

...I temporarily put my love of music aside. After earning my PhD, I got back on course and studied voice and piano -- again!

What's your favorite restaurant in Boston?

I don't have a favorite restaurant, but I have indulged in high tea wherever I can find it in Boston! The Taj (formerly the Ritz) will always be my favorite, but I also enjoy tea at the Courtyard in the Boston Public Library.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why? 

I'd go directly to Westminster Abbey to reflect on and bask in all the history, music, literature and mathematics it holds.

When I'm not teaching, I'm...

...following politics and current events. With the presidential election coming up, there will be lots to follow in the coming months!

Do you have a hidden talent? 

No hidden talents, unless there are ones well hidden from me -- but in my free time I dabble in baking and cooking. Folks who have to eat my creations say I'm pretty good!

Favorite quote? 

In thinking about leadership, I find this quote very valuable: "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." -- John Quincy Adams.

What song is your personal anthem?

I like songs that are positive, pointing to new possibilities. Disney's "A Whole New World" is one example.

Fill in the blank: I love my students because...

...they are smart, kind, funny, generous and eager to engage with the field I love!

Fill in the blank: I love Simmons because...

...of its people and the friendships I am fortunate to have gained over the years.

How does it feel to receive the 2015 teaching award from the Northeastern section of the Mathematical Association of America?

I am happy for my students, my department and Simmons College!