2013-14 Faculty Member of the Year Award: Patrick Dragon

Patrick Dragon introduces himself to every class with the following: “Y’all can call me Pat. If you insist on an honorary, either Professor Pat or Doctor Dragon will do, so long as it alliterates!” Pat is proud to have been educated entirely through public school systems. A native of Hadley, Mass., Pat graduated from Hopkins Academy in 2001. Five years later, he completed his two bachelor’s degrees at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, with majors in physics, mathematics, and astronomy.

Pat was admitted to the Ph.D. program in mathematics at the University of California-Davis and started there in the fall of 2006. While a graduate student, Pat attended several courses in mathematical pedagogy and Socratic teaching methods, eventually leading workshops for students who sought extra help in math courses. Pat was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, as well as the William Karl Schwarze Award, for excellence in teaching and service to undergraduates. Pat finished his Ph.D. in the spring of 2011, with a research focus in applications of combinatorics to quantum mechanics and quantum field theory.

Since finishing his Ph.D., Pat has been teaching at UConn in Storrs. In six short semesters, he has established a reputation as a challenging but energetic instructor. One student wrote, “I took Pat’s linear algebra class. He isn’t easy, but he is the best teacher I have had at UConn, by far. He is a very smart guy with a passion for math, and more importantly, a passion for teaching. If you’re looking for an interesting class, take Pat Dragon. If you’re looking for an easy class, get over yourself and take Pat Dragon anyway.”