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Jon Matte

Jon Matte's Picture Has Revolted and Won't Appear
Jon Matte

BS Mathematics, 1991
Saint Michael's College

MA Mathematics, 1993
S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo

 

Chair of Mathematics Department
Greens Farms Academy

When I started out as an undergraduate, all I knew was that I wanted to teach. It didn't matter what, but I felt "the calling" and I enjoyed pretty much every discipline in which I took a course, from Mythology to Japanese Culture to Philosophy. I just happened to fall in love with mathematics more than I fell in love with my other subjects and I have no regrets about the path I ultimately chose.

After completing my Masters Degree in Mathematics and teaching at Sacred Heart University for seven years, I decided to change gears slightly and became the chair of the Mathematics Department at Greens Farms Academy, a K-12, independent day school in Connecticut. While my days are indeed filled with teaching mathematics at levels from Algebra through Calculus 2, this particular environment allows me the opportunity to share more than my love of formal mathematics. I can share my love of puzzles, card tricks, games, and the "recreational mathematics" that got me interested in the subject early in my life and has kept me fascinated with it ever since.

I have been able to share my work and interests at conferences in ten different states, giving presentations on topics including "Card and Number-based Magic Tricks" and taught one of Connecticut's first online mathematics courses, "Exploring Mathematics Through Literature." It is important for me to share this love of recreational mathematics with my students, especially since this mode of thinking is becoming more atypical. Many young minds still enjoy the thrill of a good puzzle or conundrum, so I make sure to provide them whenever possible. In fact, my love of puzzles has led me to create a scaled down version of the "MIT Mystery Hunt" (a thrilling lateral-thinking Puzzle Hunt Challenge) for my students at GFA. I am proud to say that it has become one of THE events of the year for the student body.

Now that I have found my niche in the mathematical world, I have no desire to alter my career path. I love what my job entails and I am glad to be able to make a difference in the way that my students think. Every day is different when you teach - at least I try to make it that way. The creation and "re-creation" (pun intended) of my job on a regular basis is what satisfies the same fertile mind that couldn't figure out what course I enjoyed most as a student.

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