Published: Nov. 18, 2020 By

David GundermanThis month, Applied Mathematics Department congratulated David Gunderman for receiving the Fall 2020 Graduate Part-Time Instructor Appreciation Award. Over the course of the last 30 years, the Graduate School has awarded Graduate Part-Time Instructor Teaching Excellence Awards. However, this year, in light of the ongoing campus challenges, the Graduate School created the Graduate Part-Time Instructor Appreciation award to recognize graduate students who have taken on the challenge of teaching during the pandemic and ongoing fluid campus situation.

David, who joined the department in the Fall of 2016, is currently a PhD candidate who plans to defend his thesis this Spring. David’s research is centered around high order numerical methods for solving Partial Differential Equations. As part of a project funded by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, David explains that he is “developing highly accurate, efficient integration techniques for geometrically-complicated 3D domains with applications to computational fluid dynamics and fluid-structure interaction.” 

When it comes to teaching, David explains that he has always been interested and passionate about it: 

“I've always loved teaching. I enjoy the intellectual and social challenge of finding the best way to present complex concepts to students. During my time as a student, I have noticed the enormous difference that dedicated teachers have made in my life, both academically and otherwise. I hope to pay it forward by channeling that dedication as I interact with my own students.”

David is a highly experienced TA and instructor, having had experience with all of the main sequence APPM lower division courses. Given how many courses he has been a TA for or instructed, he said that he enjoys the following about teaching:

“1) the challenge of explaining complex concepts in the best way possible, 

2) interacting with students in small groups during office hours, 

3) answering surprising and/or interesting student questions, 

4) seeing the moment when a concept "clicks" for a student, 

5) getting to work collaboratively with other excellent instructors and TAs,

6) and everything about being a TA/instructor, except perhaps grading.”

The Department extends their congratulations to David on being an excellent instructor and TA, and would like to thank him for his dedication to the students, the department, and the larger community!