I have known that I wanted to teach mathematics since I was a senior in high school because of the inspiring influence of my calculus teacher, Ms. Berry. After high school, I went to Emory and Henry College with the goal of teaching high school math. However, my time at E&H changed my career path thanks to the great mentors I had there. After working on math research projects with two of my professors, Dr. Iskra and Dr. Winger, I knew I wanted to go to graduate school to study math. My ultimate goal was to teach at the college level so that I would one day be able to educate and mentor students like my college professors. At Austin College, I get to do exactly that! Each day, I teach my students about the creative, challenging, and beautiful nature of mathematics.
My primary area of research is in knot theory. A knot is exactly what it sounds like; take a string, tangle it up, and fuse the ends together. It may be surprising, but these objects can be studied using mathematics. There are an infinite number of knots and each of them can appear in an infinite number of forms, so determining if a knot can be untied is an extremely complex problem. My work aims to find a way to always be able to tell knots apart by calculating polynomials associated with a knot. These polynomials are difficult to calculate, so I use a computer and Mathematica as tools. Each summer I collaborate with Austin College students on this ongoing project.