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Clarkson University Dean Peter Turner in Best Writing on Mathematics 2016

Clarkson University Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences Peter Turner has been included in a chapter section of the book The Best Writing on Mathematics 2016.

Peter TurnerTurner teaches mathematics and computer science, and is director of Clarkson's Institute for STEM Education. Turner says that publishers print well over two million pages of writing about mathematics each year.

"It's a very nice accolade to have my chapter about teaching applied mathematics included among them," he said. "If I can pass along my love of teaching and learning, that's satisfying."

A native of the United Kingdom, Turner joined the faculty at Clarkson University 15 years ago after teaching in England and at the U.S. Naval Academy. To him, effective learning begins with the approach to teaching.

"Any student in school has a perfect right to ask a teacher, 'Why do I need to learn this?' It applies to everything in education, and the student has the right to an answer to this question," he said.

Turner believes that teachers at all levels should educate students for a life and a career, rather than train them for a job.

"A job is the start of a career, not the end," he said.

Of course, teaching has had to evolve to work with modern advances. Technology enables a much more interactive way of teaching, he said.

"Newton was a mathematician, an astronomer and a physicist -- all these things," he said. "He is an example of why we need to study science in a comprehensive way. Important things are cross-disciplinary, brought together in a teamwork way."

To learn more about The Best Writing on Mathematics 2016, visit

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

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