Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2017 – Maritime: Debbie Yuster
Debbie Yuster, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at SUNY Maritime College, which she joined in 2009. She earned a B.A. in Mathematics from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Columbia University. Following graduate school, Dr. Yuster held a postdoctoral fellowship at DIMACS, the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science at Rutgers University. Her main research area is geometric combinatorics. Dr. Yuster has examined properties of high-dimensional shapes, and has also applied results and methods in this field to problems in biology. In recent years, Dr. Yuster has become interested in Data Science, using methods from statistics and computer science to gain insights from “big data”. She is also involved in K-12 outreach. Since 2005, she has taught a summer course for high school students through Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. Dr. Yuster has presented her work at many conferences and universities, and has published articles in mathematics, biology, and education journals.
Dr. Yuster has been teaching online since the summer of 2016, when she designed and taught a Calculus II course for Maritime College. Her course is organized with graphic elements for a consistent look and feel across lessons. Dr. Yuster’s course makes extensive use of interactive demonstrations embedded in the lessons. During the summer, Dr. Yuster held “virtual office hours” in real time, so students could video-conference with their instructor. Dr. Yuster used a graphics tablet and an online shared whiteboard during virtual office hours, so that she and her students could collaboratively solve problems on the screen. She is looking forward to refining her course further, expanding her knowledge of best practices in teaching online, and advising others as an Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador.