Welcome new UD math teacher: Dr. Juan Auli

Welcome new UD math teacher: Dr. Juan Auli

Simon Schackner, Staff Writer

An avid soccer fan who likes to play the sport during his free time, math teacher Dr. Juan Auli will join the Mathematics Department to teach Geometry and PreCalculus AB. Auli was born in Colombia and lived there during high school and college. He later received a PhD in mathematics from Dartmouth College. “During my PhD, I learned that math has no boundaries,” Auli said. “We can always learn more.” Two of Auli’s favorite aspects of math are number theory and combinatorics, which he studied as part of his PhD program. “They are such seemingly simple topics that really have so much complexity in them,” he said. In his free time, Auli likes to listen to Ambulante, his favorite podcast, he said. The podcast discusses Latin American news stories that are often not reported in the mainstream media, according to its website. Auli has spent most of the summer relaxing and reviewing the course material for his classes. This year, Auli said he hopes to see his students express themselves creatively through math. “I want to counter the narrative that math is just a set of rules,” he said. Auli will try to spark his students’ interest in math through math-related games like Magic Squares, a game in which the player attempts to create a square divided into smaller squares of integers, such that the rows, columns and diagonals all equal the same sum. “They make complicated topics, such as probability, much easier to understand,” he said. Math Department Chair Meghan Fergusson said the department is lucky to welcome somebody as educated and invested in math as Auli, and she looks forward to learning from him in the years to come. “He is engaging, and he loves to talk about why math is interesting and meaningful,” she said. “I have no doubt that students will love him.”