Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Tamar Avineri
Instructor of Mathematics

Feb. 2022

Dr. Tamar Avineri is teaching Multivariable Calculus this year in the NCSSM-Online program.

Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to teaching?

I was born in Israel and moved to the United States when I was almost five years old. I grew up outside of Los Angeles and studied mathematics at UCSD for college and UCLA for graduate school. I came to teaching out of my passion and interest in mathematics. I had really great opportunities to tutor peers in high school and college, and I felt that teaching was a way that I could serve others while also pursuing my passion. My passion then evolved from mathematics to teaching and learning mathematics.

Can you tell us a little about your role at NCSSM?

This is my 18th year as a math instructor here at NCSSM. I get to teach courses that I never imagined I'd get to, and the students are the absolute best part. One of the things I appreciate so much about teaching here at NCSSM is that along the way, I've had the privilege to also serve in other roles that complement my role as a teacher. I've gotten to work with the Mentorship & Research program, collaborated on published papers, worked with university partners on initiatives to support students in mathematics, collaborated with amazing colleagues here at NCSSM, developed and provided professional development workshops for teachers, and helped build our new advising center, CAAS. It is such an honor to work here!

What is your favorite thing about the math program at NCSSM?

I have many favorite things about the math program here at NCSSM! The first thing that comes to mind is the incredibly collaborative culture of our department. I learn so much from my colleagues, and we are a truly supportive and generous community. I also love the breadth of courses we offer and the passion with which our students take them.

Do you have any advice for students interested in a STEM career?

One piece of advice I would share is to expect self-doubt at times. In my personal experience and in working with students and colleagues over the years, I recognize that most of us have periods where we doubt whether we belong in the STEM field, whether it be because of skill/ability level or other concerns. It helps me to realize that those periods will come, and we can help ourselves get through them by talking with people we trust, reflecting on the source(s) of the doubt, and working hard to power through.

What are some of your other interests?

I love to exercise – it brings me such calm, both physically and mentally. I also love listening to music, especially live music, and dancing – dancing is a huge passion of mine that I would like to do more of. I also love musical theater as well as suspenseful movies with a "twist" at the end. Too fun!