Fellow Profile: Michael Borghese

Michael Borghese
  • G-TEAMS Cohort: 2013-14
  • Graduate Program: Applied Mathematics
  • Teacher Partner: Alex Swindle
  • School: BASIS Tucson North
  • Grade level: 8th-11th Grade
  • Topics: Algebra II, Precalculus, Calculus

"There are things which seem incredible to most men who have not studied Mathematics."
- Archimedes

Research Interests

Michael's research interests lie in various areas of applied mathematics. He has previously done work in the area of image processing, wherein digital photographs are analyzed and altered through the use of mathematically derived algorithms. Currently, his interests have led him to the field of differential equations and variational methods.

Classroom Activities

Michael is working with Alex Swindle at Tucson BASIS North charter school. As the school houses both a middle and high school, activies focus on general topics that can be adapted for various academic levels. The goal of the first semester has been to incorporate probability into the curriculum to accord with the Common Core standards.

Lessons Learned

Introducing advanced topics is a challenge when teaching students of all skill levels. The difficulty I have encountered at BASIS is that the students feel they are already advanced enough in their studies and do not understand the point of additional topics. The goal in this case has been to demonstrate to students some of the the more interesting real-world problems that can be solved using probability, even if they are not quite at a level to do such problems themselves.

I am also learning about the difference just a couple of years makes. It is quite difficult to get 8th grade students of Algebra II to actively participate in discussions. By 11th grade however, the students are asking questions about their own interests and actively engaging with each other in discussion.

Teaching Materials