Butterfield, Jane

Assistant Teaching Professor

Contact

Email: jvbutter@uvic.ca
Department: Mathematics & Statistics

Research description:

-Graph theory, particularly extremal graph theory
-Random graphs
-Graph Ramsey Theory
-Games played on graphs
-Alternative methods of assessing student learning
Expertise Database
Mathematician Jane Butterfield says she wants students to love math. "It has a really bad reputation among younger people," she says. "We need to fix that because it is fun."

She encourages instructors and researchers to find out how to make math classes more engaging. When scholars at UVic want to research math education, Dr. Butterfield helps them apply for grants and aids them with their research. She also trains the department's teaching assistants. "There are a lot of people who have to take a math course," she says. "They don't necessarily want to be there, so it's important to do everything we can to make sure they're learning the mathematics they need."

In her own lectures, Dr. Butterfield makes math fun by incorporating active learning techniques. Using a method called "think, pair, share," she gives students a short amount of time to answer a problem. Afterwards, they discuss their work with a partner and then share it with the class.

Dr. Butterfield's research focuses on extremal graph theory, which encompasses a wide array of problem-solving methods, including applications to economics, computer science and even video games. "I like to focus on games because it makes math accessible to almost everyone," she says. "I've talked about Extremal graph theory games to 11-year-olds."


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