Math Department Welcomes Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow
Firas Hindeleh arrived in Allendale in August 2006 for a one-year visiting position in mathematics. Later that academic year, he was selected through a national search as a postdoctoral teaching fellow and is currently completing the first year of a two-year fellowship.
Firas grew up in Jordan, attending university there and earning his B.Sc. in mathematics from the University of Jordan in 2000. Afterwards, he spent a year teaching high school mathematics before pursuing his dream of graduate education in mathematics at the University of Toledo in the United States. The year teaching high school was an interesting one: "I taught in an international high school in Jordan where the student body was from all over the world; many of the students were children of international diplomats. I had the most diverse classes, with totally different cultures. But you see normal teens, with the same hormones in their blood. It was very challenging to me at the beginning, especially classroom management."
After making the difficult decision to leave a good teaching job and return to school, Firas moved to Toledo, OH, where he completed his PhD in the area of Lie algebras and Lie groups. Upon finishing at Toledo, Firas explains " I chose to accept the job at GVSU because I knew that it would help me widen my experience in teaching and that I would have support from the faculty around me.". He was drawn to GVSU because it provides opportunities to expand his knowledge of the psychological side of teaching and learning mathematics. Firas especially appreciates the friendly and cordial atmosphere among his teaching peers as well as and the opportunity to work collaboratively with other faculty who value teaching.
Away from work, Firas is interested in exploring new cultures, seeing new places, and trying different authentic foods. One of his goals is to study and learn the Greek language. This summer, he and his wife are expecting their first children with twins due to arrive in early August.
Firas has really enjoyed his time at GVSU so far. "I am particularly fond of my motivated, hard-working students. I see how hard they work, and this gives me more energy to work harder for them." He also reports enjoying the beautiful summer weather and the lakeshore.