Saint Louis University

Organization Description

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic universities. SLU, which also has a campus in Madrid, Spain, is recognized for world-class academics, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service.

Guided by our enduring Jesuit mission, we offer our nearly 13,000 students a highly rigorous and deeply transformative education that helps them develop into bold, confident leaders. Rated among the nation’s top 100 research universities, SLU boasts more than 20 graduate and undergraduate programs ranked among the top 100 in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Participant Biographies

Dr. Anneke Bart

1992-1998 – As a Graduate Teaching Assistant at UCSB I was a TA, but also taught my own classes.

  • Both quarters of the Math for elementary school teachers sequence (100 AB). We covered several topics including logic, probability and statistics and some geometry.
  • Both quarters of a Calculus for Life and Social Sciences sequence. This sequence used a very applied approach to calculus. A large part of the course used the SIR model for the spread of illnesses. We used calculators to model data.
  • Standard first quarter course in differential calculus.

1998 – Present – Assistant Professor and later Associate Professor at Saint Louis University.

  • Standard undergraduate courses such as college algebra, pre-calculus, differential calculus, integral calculus, complex variables.
  • Survey of Calculus with Excel: A course initially developed by Fr. Mike May. I later joined the project and provided materials. The course was developed after consultation with the faculty from our Business school. Excel is used as the computational tool in the class. Calculus topics and concepts are introduced through a broad range of business applications.
  • Math and the Art of MC Escher: A freshman course introducing topics in geometry through the graphic art of M.C. Escher. Having students analyze artwork and understand the underlying geometry provides the motivation to study symmetry, isometries, hyperbolic geometry, spherical geometry and an assortment of other smaller topics. This was done in collaboration with Dr, Bryan Clair.
  • Graduate courses: I have taught the graduate sequence in Topology as well as some Topics in Topology courses.

Dr. Mike May

I am an associate professor from SLU, and currently am the lower division coordinator for the department, which has me overseeing all of the courses below calculus. I also oversee all the adjuncts and the teaching assistants. I have previously served as department chair and interim dean of the college. I have been at SLU full time since 93. I teach whatever is needed, which has ranged from intermediate algebra in a prison setting through graduate courses in ring theory.

My involvement in the current project probably dates back to a talk at ICTCM around 2003 and a presentation on business calculus by people from Appalachian State on an Excel Calculus for business students project they had devised. It seemed like something to try when I had the time. That led me to using their material for the foundation of a book that I wrote for our students. As part of the book writing process I wrote several unsuccessful grant proposals and learned of the CRAFTY process that lay at the foundation of the project. As a first approximation, the SLU portion of the proposal is to reincarnate the consultative process that led to the CRAFTY report for business in 2004 with a view of making adjustments to both math classes and business classes. We have started the seminar and the short version of the first session is that we need to work on a “College Algebra for Business” course.

Outside of being a math professor, I am also a Jesuit and thus a Catholic priest. I joke, that as a math professor, I have the job that causes more prayer than any other on campus. I live in a freshman dorm with 600 of my closest 18-year old friends. On Mondays I bake about 300 cookies for wandering through the halls of the dorm.

Debbie Pike

I came to undergraduate teaching later in life after a career as a professional accountant. In Fall of 2005, I taught one semester as an adjunct instructor and then became a full-time faculty member in Fall 2006. In the process of discerning my teaching philosophy and articulating my teaching autobiography, I contemplated a number of dimensions of my notion of effective teaching and student learning. This reflection made me realize that my personal concepts were greatly influenced by my undergraduate and graduate experiences with outstanding teachers. I realized the impact of educators that held me to high standards of performance in demonstrating topical knowledge, while appreciating me, the student, as an individual. I believe that I have intuitively been drawn to the Jesuit concept of magis, “the more” as a striving for excellence, and cura personalis, a personal concern and respect for the whole person. I apply magis in my teaching responsibilities as challenging the students to maximize their subject knowledge matter in a manner beyond “book knowledge.” I want them to find that the value in my classes is more than just a grade; that they are being given a personal growth opportunity. I care for them and want them to succeed as business leaders so I strive to also develop their professionalism, confidence, and other skills needed for real-world success.