Outside the Classroom: Russ Goodman

Graduate students spend thousands of hours researching and writing their dissertations—often to have them sit in a closet. Goodman is determined to turn his work into something more. During a sabbatical in the fall of 2011, he condensed the dissertation into an article he submitted to the math journal Communications in Algebra. Goodman also presented on the article at the annual meeting of the Iowa section of the Mathematical Association of America on campus this fall, which he organized.

The sabbatical has given Goodman time to work on another article—this one about his use of an uncon-ventional book in the classroom. As part of his Contemporary Mathematics course, Goodman teaches The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, a novel about a mathematics-loving boy with autism. “It’s a great book to connect the mathematically challenged students in my class to ideas such as logic, problem solving and the seeming link between mathematics and autism,” says Goodman.

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