Fellow Profile: Jackson Burton
- G-TEAMS Cohort: 2013-14
- Graduate Program:Applied Mathematics
- Teacher Partner:Karen Maspero
- School: Wilson K-8
- Grade level: 6th grade
- Topics: 6th grade mathematics
"God created the natural number, and all the rest is the work of man."
- Roger Bacon
Jackson's research focus is on the modeling of the malaria infected red blood cell. Currently malaria is regarded as the number one killer of human beings in all of history, currently claiming about 1 million lives each year. The mathematical analysis of this problem will help shed light on the extremely complex process by which malaria infects the blood. Mathematical models can gain insight to processes where experimentation sometimes can not. It is my hope to help guide future experimentation to eventually treat and ultimately eradicate malaria.
Jackson is working with Karen Maspero at Wilson K-8. His primary responsibilties have been to guide the curriculum switch from traditional standard to the common core standards. He provides lecture support to Karen and leads discovery based discussions and activities with the accelerated 6th grade math class. Jackson also aids Karen in a variety of long term activities such as The Amazing Mathematical Race and the Game of Life. Each activity incorporates challenging and/or real world mathematics. The kids find these activities engaging and stimulating while still learning many key concepts. Jackson will be planning projects for the kids that draw from his own research. One such project will be examining the relationship of fluid flow in a pipe as it relates to diameter and pressure.
Jackson has learned two experiential truths about teaching, more specifically, lecturing. One, it is very easy to be a bad lecturer. Two, it is very easy to become a good lecturer if you have patience. Drawing on the ancient philosophy that questioning is a key to understanding, Jackson has a kind of guideline that when he teaches, he must use essentially all questions until the student has reached the correct conclusion, in which case, he says, "correct." If the student can not answer the current quesitons, he immediately asks a new questions of simpler content. That is where the patience must come in. If you are low on patience, then be patient, it will come.