As a scholar in the field of pure mathematics, Rita Hibschweiler has spent her career examining complex and abstract mathematical problems that are intrinsically interesting. Her passion for mathematical inquiry and her desire to address unsolved problems has undoubtedly shaped her pedagogical practice as her love of mathematics shines through her teaching.
Fortunately for us and for many legions of STEM students, Hibschweiler is a long-standing and exceptional instructor of our gatekeeper courses. While many faculty prefer to teach primarily in their field of expertise to advanced students, she has remained steadfastly committed to teaching the calculus series, which has resulted in adulation from many of her students, including one who proclaimed, “Professor Hibschweiler is the best thing to happen to calculus.”
Hibschweiler approaches all of her classes with the same level of careful preparation and dedication, whether it is a large lecture calculus, Introduction to Mathematical Proof, or senior level and graduate classes in analysis. She uses every second of the allocated class time to exploit her unparalleled ability to explain difficult concepts. Regardless of the topic or the size of the class, she deftly reads the room and transforms the student educational experience into an individualized conversation.
Beyond the classroom, she makes many contributions to the work of the department, including serving for many years as the graduate program coordinator. She maintains an open-door policy and fosters excellent communication with colleagues and graduate students across the department’s multiple programs.