Andrea Young

Andrea N. Young

Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
Office: Todd Wehr 212

  • Basic Information
  • Awards & Honors
  • Publications
  • Areas of Interest
  • Presentations
  • Pedagogy

Basic Information


  • B.S. in Mathematics, Pennsylvania State University
  • Ph.D. in Mathematics, The University of Texas at Austin

Courses Taught


  • MTH 130  Mathematical Thinking and Writing
  • MTH 175  The Shape of the Universe
  • MTH 201  Calculus I
  • MTH 246  Mathematical Modeling
  • MTH 343  Differential Equations
  • MTH/CS 501  Senior Seminar

Areas of expertise:

  • Geometric Analysis
  • Discrete Differential Geometry

Awards & Honors

  • VIGRE postdoctoral fellowship, University of Arizona, 2008-2011
  • Deputy Director of 2010 Arizona Summer Program
  • Service and Teaching Award, University of Arizona, 2010
  • Project NExT fellow, 2011-2012


Research Articles

  • "Improvisation in the Mathematics Classroom."  Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, Vol. 23, Issue 5, pp 467-476, 2013.

Pedagogical Articles

Additionally, in 2013-14, I created a series of 10 videos with Pearson as part of their MathTalk video series.  Two of the videos can be found here:


Areas of Interest

  • Geometric flows
  • Riemannian geometry
  • Discrete differential geometry
  • Using improvisational comedy techniques in the classroom
  • Mathematical Association of America, Association for Women in Mathematics


Recent Presentations

  • “Little Fractal on the Prairie: A Study of Fractal Dimension” in the MAA Session on Projects, Demonstrations, and Activities that Engage Liberal Arts Mathematics, Joint Mathematics Meetings, January 9-12, 2013 in San Diego, CA.
  • “Active Learning Across the Curriculum” (joint with David Scott and McKenzie Lamb) at WI MAA section meeting, April 5-6, 2013, UW Marshfield
  • “A Discrete Yamabe Problem” in the special session Geometric Partial Differential Equations, AMS Spring Section Meeting, April 27-28, 2013 at Iowa State University.


Improv in the Math Classroom


Below are the notes for two Math and Improv presentations that I have been developing during my time as a faculty member. I have given these presentations to a variety of math educators, and I am always willing to modify them to address your group’s needs.

The first presentation, “Improv in the Mathematics Classroom”, demonstrates how some of the most fundamental tenets of improv can be applied to creating an open and engaging mathematics classroom. The second presentation, “Improv for the Mathematics Instructor,” deals with how improv can be used by math instructors to improve their own “performance”.

“Improv in the Mathematics Classroom”
“Improv for the Mathematics Instructor”
Slides from “Improv in the Math Classroom” my keynote address for the Arizona Center for STEM Teachers at the Biosphere 2 on October 23, 2010.

Improv and Teaching Resources (books)

Gwinn, P. Group Improvisation: the manual of ensemble improv games
Johnstone, K. Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre
Spolin, V. Improvisation for the Theater
Tauber, R. Acting Lessons for Teachers: Using Performance Skills in the Classroom
Timpson, W. Teaching and Performing: Ideas for energizing your classes

Improv and Teaching Resources (websites)

The new improv page
Article about CERN physicists using improv to improve communication skills