SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2022: SUNY Poly – William Thistleton
Dr. William Thistleton is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at SUNY Poly where he teaches a wide range of graduate and undergraduate classes in analysis, probability, statistics, design of experiments, and data science. After serving in the United States Peace Corps as a math and physics teacher in Cameroon, he competed his graduate studies at Stony Brook University at in the area of Computational Fluid Dynamics and Ground Water Modeling. Bill has been an early and aggressive proponent of distance education and has developed traditional online courses in a variety of areas as well as a successful Coursera course in Time Series Analysis. He designs and delivers workshops in Data Science for professional development at the corporate level and delivered a distance workshop in Machine Learning to the New York State Master Teacher Program. He has consulted with a wide variety of companies in the areas of signal processing, research design and analysis, quantum annealing, and data analysis. His current research interests include machine learning and deep learning.
Nothing makes me happier professionally than teaching students, especially in technical areas they find challenging. The give and take of a traditional classroom is a wonderful thing- there is a sense of engagement, a shared community, and both an intellectual and a visceral experience that can be lost online. Creating online and distance environments where we can bring some of that magic into our classes takes attention and energy. It’s exciting to be participating in the early days of this medium, especially as the culture moves towards a greater acceptance and appreciation of the efficiencies and benefits of distance learning. I’ve also seen this work in the distance collaboration of international research groups. While the traditional brick and mortar classroom will always be available to us, it’s incredible to think about the potential for learning when we are in a distance setting, free of time and space constraints, working in a media rich environment, and available to students all around the world.