Donna Beers, Ph.D., is Professor of Mathematics at Simmons University. An algebraist, she teaches a wide range of courses, from the calculus sequence, to intermediate courses in discrete mathematics and linear algebra, to advanced courses in modern algebra, graph and network theory, and the mathematics of machine learning. Promoting undergraduate research is a vital extension of her teaching. Recent examples of her students' research topics include the effects of probiotics in reducing C.difficile, elliptic curve cryptography, the correlation between patient religiosity and health care utilization, and evaluating the perception of Roma in Europe through social network analysis.
Since graduate school, Dr. Beers has been an active member of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). She has served as chair and governor of the Northeastern Section of the MAA. She has also served on numerous committees of the MAA and on editorial boards of the American Mathematical Monthly, Mathematics Magazine, and PRIMUS (Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies). Her professional service includes extensive service as outside consultant for departmental program reviews in the mathematical sciences.
What I Teach
- Number Systems and Algebra for Elementary School Teachers (Math 115)
- Geometry and Data Analysis for Elementary School Teachers (Math 116)
- Calculus I (Math 120)
- Calculus II (Math 121)
- Multivariable Calculus (Math 220)
- Discrete Mathematics (Math 210)
- Linear Algebra (Math 211)
- Introduction to Social Network Analysis (Math 213)
- Modern Algebra (Math 310)
- Special Topics in Mathematics (Math 390)
- Mathematics for Machine Learning
- Advanced Linear Algebra
- Graph and Network Theory
Dr. Beers is a past recipient of the Northeastern Section of the MAA Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics and of the national MAA Certificate for Meritorious Service. Dr. Beers was the inaugural recipient of the Toby Sloane Award for Student Centeredness in Teaching at Simmons University.
Dr. Beers aspires to show her students both the beauty of mathematics and its power to solve meaningful, real-world problems. She is passionate to identify and address the barriers to students' sense of belonging in STEM. She is partnering with STEM colleagues at Simmons on funded projects to increase inclusive excellence in introductory STEM courses and to grow mentorship opportunities that help students reach their personal and professional goals.
- "Developing a Course for Undergraduates on the Mathematics of Machine Learning." AMS Contributed Paper Session on Mathematics Education. Joint Mathematics Meetings. January 4-7, 2023. Boston, MA.
- "Renewing Elementary Linear Algebra Courses with Activities in Data Science." MAA Session: Cross-Curricular Applications for Pure Mathematics Courses. Virtual MAA MathFest. August 5, 2021.
- "Visualizing the transformative role of mathematics in the fin-de-siècle culture with social network analysis." Contributed Paper Session. Fall Meeting, Northeastern Section MAA. Babson College. Wellesley, MA. November 22- 23, 2019.
- "Uncovering Critical Nodes in a Supply Chain: Connecting Graph and Network Theory to Supply Chain Risk Management." MAA Session: Best Practices and Innovation in the Teaching of Discrete Mathematics.MAA MathFest. Denver, CO. August 1-4, 2018.
- "Community Detection with Hierarchical Clustering Algorithms: Connecting Graph and Network Theory to Analyzing Social Networks." MAA Session: Teaching and Learning Advanced Mathematics.MAA MathFest. Chicago, IL. July 26-29, 2017.
- "Who is Really in Charge? Connecting graph and network theory to analyzing social networks." Invited keynote. The Fifteenth Annual Preskenis Dinner/Lecture. Framingham State University. April 6, 2017.
- "Connecting Forensics and Linear Algebra." Invited address. Pi Mu Epsilon math honor society induction. Western New England University. April 8, 2016. Mathematics Seminar. Middlebury College. March 8, 2016. Fall meeting of the Northeastern Section/MAA. Gordon College. November 21, 2015. Wentworth Institute of Technology. Applied Math Career Lecture Series. October 6, 2015.Providence College. Mathematics Department Colloquium. March 4, 2015.