Faith Rutherford: Educator, Artist, and Friend

Faith is a born and bred, fifth generation Seattle native.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Portland State University in 2008, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and while there she served as a member of a research team for three years investigating alternative classroom teaching methods for college level mathematics courses.  She recently finished a Master's program at the University of Washington where she focused on educational neuroscience-based curriculum and instructional design for elementary aged learners.  

Some of her interests include attention disorders, math anxiety, gender equity in the classroom, and the intersection of mathematics with the arts.  She has taught in and designed curriculum for all manner of environments: college math classes, all girl math camps, private high schools, academically intensive math camps, and mathematics based art classes.  Faith believes that mathematics is one of the most beautiful, creative, cool, and useful pursuits in life and would love to show you why.

When she is not busy getting excited about math Faith can be found singing and dancing, drawing fractals and cartoons, caring for her cat, snakes, hissing cockroaches, and plant friends, and generally being insatiably curious in every direction at once.  She loves to be silly and prefers the company of children because they laugh at more of her jokes than adults do. 

"What's the point of learning math? I'm never going to use algebra in my daily life!"

Good question! It can be hard to understand the point sometimes. I like to compare learning mathematics to going to the gym. You don't work out in order to be the best at doing sit-ups or pushups or jumping-jacks. You exercise your body so that it is strong and fast and healthy, and then you can do anything you want with it! You can play ultimate frisbee or breakdance or learn martial arts...there is no limit to what you can accomplish! Math is like that for your brain.  By solving problems and becoming an independent learner you train your brain to be fast and flexible, and then you can teach yourself to do anything: program computers, fix cars, bake delicious pies, or anything you can imagine.

Faith's Professional Accomplishments in Math Education:

February 25- February 28, 2010
The SIGMAA on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education Conference
Mathematicians' Mathematical Thinking for Teaching, Responding to Students' Conjectures 

August 5-August 8, 2009
Mathematical Association of America, MathFest 2009, Portland State University
A Local Instructional Theory for the Guided Reinvention of the Quotient Group Concept 

February 26 - March 1, 2009
The SIGMAA on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education Conference
A Local Instructional Theory for the Guided Reinvention of the Quotient Group Concept 

February 8- February 10, 2008
Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics
Undergraduate Students Reinvent the Quotient Group Concept