Evans would prefer that her students talk in class than take notes.
In fact, she even hands out lecture notes at the beginning of
class, to save students the trouble of writing everything
That may sound unorthodox, but Evans believes much of
the real learning comes through interaction. "It's
Beyond making tough concepts easier to grasp, Evans' approach
sets a fun and informal tone that seems to resonate with
"She often started class with a funny cartoon or
anecdote that would grab our attention and keep it for the entire
lecture," observes Joshua Moore (ChE,
like we're having a conversation, doing examples, and filling in
She's a big believer in real-world examples, using
bottled-water taste tests and hands-on studies of M&M
manufacturing defects to help students connect with tough
concepts. "She would make up really off-the-wall problems for us to
do in class that were really weird and entertaining, yet
practical," says Steven
2004), a post-doctoral associate at the U.S. Army Research
Laboratory in Maryland. "Professor Evans always made class
enjoyable by creating an environment where students were not afraid
to ask questions."
With what she puts into each class, students
can see that Evans is working just
(EE, 2004), who now teaches at Marquette University.
Then there are the games-dice, cards, and statistical
puzzles. "I'm a very visual person," says Evans. "I have to see
pictures, diagrams, and have hands-on examples. I find it
works well for them, too."
Apparently so, as Adri Platt (ME, 2005) says, "I
think of dice all the time when I need to understand or
explain probability in more detail for people without a technical
background." Platt is an outsourcing program manager for Intel
|as hard as
they are, and that makes a positive and inspirational impression.
"They see that I love it, and they try to appreciate what I am
showing them," she says. And that, in turn, is a source of great
joy for her. "There is nothing better than talking about
mathematics and statistics with students who are interested in
learning the subject."