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The Scarlet & Black

Math Department welcomes lecturer Kusha Nezafati

Kusha Nezafati is a recent addition to the Math Department

By Tanvi Jindal

Grinnell College welcomed Lecturer Kusha Nezafati to the Math department this semester. Nezafati received a B.A. in philosophy and a B.S. in mathematics  at University of Texas-Austin and went on to get his Masters in Statistics at University of Texas-Dallas. He is currently working on his dissertation for a Ph.D. in statistics from University of Texas-Dallas.

He is very happy about his decision to move to Grinnell.

“It’s nice. Actually, it’s very different from where I come. I spent most of my life living in Dallas. I was looking forward to moving to a place that is a little different from what I am used to. I appreciate the small town and the quiet. It’s nice to live in a small place where you still have everything you need,” Nezafati said.

He has also happily adjusted to teaching at Grinnell.

“I enjoy it. It’s very different from my TA work in UT Dallas where I practiced problems on differential Calculus and Linear Algebra. It was very abstract. So I am glad that I’m teaching an intro to Stats class here because it is so application based,” Nezafati said.

Kusha Nezafati is a recent addition to the Math Department

Nezafati was switched from philosophy to mathematics in search of concrete answers.

“Philosophy is more about discourse and discussion and you don’t really get to the solution. Everything is debatable. It is not as satisfying as mathematics where you can arrive at a set of solutions, where you can prove whatever it is you’re trying to prove,” Nezafati said.

He appreciates diversity of thought in his classroom discussions.

“I really like that I have such a diverse set of students who I can discuss the bases or uses of statistics in their fields of study. It’s interesting for me to hear their perspectives because they have so many interesting things to say. I appreciate there being a lot of room for discussion,” Nezafati said.

Perhaps due to his love of class discussion and students from diverse backgrounds, he values participation and dedication greatly from students.

“To get an A in my class, students have to show up, they have to participate in the discussion,” Nezafati said. “Besides that, they should have a good study habit outside of class. That means, you can’t just go to lecture and absorb everything I say. You need to take notes and take inspiration from lecture and then go home and practice what you are being taught. Beyond that, I also have a group project so that requires other skills like organization, collaboration and presentation. So, the important things are being organized, showing up and being diligent.”

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