Students worldwide wonder how someone can love math so much that they become proficient in it and decide to teach others; some of which are in pain trying to repeat what they just saw their professor write in class. Dr. Briggs is a professor at Embry-Riddle that loves teaching math classes. His favorite class to teach is Calculus III.
Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: Corn beef and cabbage stew. The corn beef comes around every year around St Patrick’s day. I make it as many times as I can.
Q: What types of degrees did you earn through Universities?
A: My B.S. is in math. If you enroll in a master’s program, it’s easier to get in but you have to pay. If you can get straight into a Ph.D. program, then they pay for you to go to school and you can get your masters along the way. So I got my Ph.D. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed my diploma when he was Governor of California.
Q: What do you wish to see more of in class from students?
A: The reason that I came to Embry-Riddle in the first place was because when I visited, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of determination that I saw in the students. I didn’t see any undecided freshmen here and that’s very atypical. Everyone knew what they wanted to do and they had a mission to do it. So that’s what I admire about the students already, that’s not to say there’s a lack of it but I would like to see more of it.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I like to play with my kids. I’m very into music. I spend a lot of time checking the new releases every Tuesday and seeing what’s coming up. I love everything except for jazz.
Q: What was your first job out of college?
A: I finished my Ph.D. in 2013 and UC-San Diego hired me on as an instructor until the spring of 2014. Then I found a job in Verona, Wisconsin, in the medical software industry. I really wanted to work in academia and found Embry-Riddle and began working here.
Q: Why did you decide to become a mathematician?
A: I’ve always been a mathematician. I learned my multiplication tables when I was three. And I taught my elder brother who is four years older than me.
Q: What other careers did you want to pursue?
A: I didn’t really realize that this was going to be it until I was in college. I tossed around the idea of being a lawyer because I like to argue, and I like logic. As well as architecture. When I was in school I thought I would become a doctor.
Q: Do you have any advice for students?
A: Do what you love and persevere.