A mathematics professor teaches math concepts and theories to diverse student populations at colleges and universities. He may specialize in an area of mathematics, such as algebra, geometry or trigonometry, or instruct on the subject in more general terms. If he is known for his published research on a particular mathematical theorem, he may be asked to serve as a guest lecturer at other higher institutions of learning in addition to his regular professorial duties.
In addition to teaching, a mathematics professional is normally involved in other campus activities. He may be a member of committees that determine mathematical curriculums or choose guest lecturers on math-related topics. Students who have shown exceptional abilities in math are often sought out by a mathematics professor to confer on theories. This position often includes active participation in research projects regularly organized by math and science professors as well.
Mathematics professors are commonly believed to be among the first people who used computers long before the invention of the personal computer (PC). Some professors of mathematics display pictures in their offices of massive computers they once used to perform simple mathematical equations. Contributions of math professors to the development of computers are generally considered significant.
Today’s mathematical professors typically use computers to confirm mathematical research theories that used to demand hours of calculations using pencils, paper and chalkboards. This normally requires the professor to have expertise in data entry protocols and database management as well as knowledge of various mathematical software applications and software. These tools are generally considered helpful in deciphering complex math theories so more students can fully understand them.
Success in the position of mathematics professor customarily requires excellent communication skills. When teaching hypotheses and theories based on generally abstract concepts, being able to present the information in easily understandable terms is normally considered an asset for a math professor. His patience and understanding with students to whom math is a challenge is generally appreciated.
To successfully educate the largest number of students possible in the field of mathematics, a professor in this field frequently campaigns the dean of the institution where he teaches to expand their math curriculum. He customarily urges them to include creative math course titles that relate to culinary arts or mechanics to draw more students into the study of mathematics. If the courses are accepted, he frequently develops the related lesson plans or teaches the classes.
A mathematics professor position generally requires a master’s or doctoral degree in general mathematics or a specialized area, such as trigonometry, geometry or algebra. A bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum requirement to be a college instructor in mathematics. Experience in teaching mathematics at any educational institution is generally preferred for this position.