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Associate Chair, Fast-Track Program Director

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(205) 934-2154
University Hall 4022

Research and Teaching Interests: Topology, Dynamical systems, Mathematics education at all levels

Office Hours: By appointment

Education:

  • B.S., Randolph-Macon College (Virginia), Philosophy
  • M.A., University of Florida, Philosophy
  • Ph.D., University of Florida, Philosophy
  • Ph.D., University of Florida, Mathematics
  • Post-Doctoral, University of Saskatchewan, Mathematics

John C. Mayer considers Florida his family home state. He graduated from Riverview High School (Sarasota, Florida) and Randolph-Macon College, and taught middle and high school grades in Georgia before returning to graduate school. He joined the Department of Mathematics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1984 and is currently professor and associate chair of mathematics.

In 1993, he co-founded, with the enthusiastic cooperation of the faculty of mathematics, the Mathematics Fast-Track Program at UAB, a program where undergraduates work with a faculty mentor every term, participate in individual and group research projects, participate in seminars, and complete both B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics in four to five years. Many go on to graduate and professional programs in mathematics and the sciences, or into teaching mathematics. He has personally mentored over 40 students in research at various levels. He is the co-director of UABTeach, which is designed to nurture and train a new teaching force of highly qualified instructors in STEM subjects — science, engineering, technology, and math.

When not teaching mathematics — everything from graduate courses in his research areas to the lowest-level course in mathematics at UAB for which a student can receive credit and fulfill the university mathematics requirement — he finds time for reading science fiction and fantasy, listening to music (classical 70%, jazz 20%, popular 10%) and going to concerts, collecting works of art (mostly from local artists), and traveling. He particularly admires Scotland, and has a reproduction collection of the Lewis chessmen.

His research interests are in topology, dynamical systems, and mathematics education at all levels. He is a winner of the George Polya Award (1989) of the Mathematical Association of America for expository writing, and the Mathematical Association of America’s Distinguished Service Award (Southeastern Section, 2014). He has served as undergraduate program director, graduate program director, and Fast-Track Program co-director in mathematics at UAB. He continues to lead the Greater Birmingham Mathematics Partnership in which UAB, Birmingham-Southern College, and nine school districts in the Birmingham area have partnered to improve middle school mathematics education.