The best way to honor the awesomeness of Manan Shah would be to write this entire thing in some kind of mathematical code, then, spend time learning to master something totally new just for fun, then go inspire college level math classes. Manan was one of the first people hanging around when I started my chat. I was surprised to find out that he was a professor of mathematics because my previous experiences with post high school math educators was about as exciting as watching clothes dry, and as engaging as Ben Stein searching for “Bueler”.
Manan always tried to remind me that math education should not have stopped for me just because someone else robbed me of enjoyment. In many ways he is right. I love teaching math to my kids. I love finding ways to get them thinking about how the concepts connect. One of my favorite memories of tweeting with Manan was when he said he was teaching himself to draw, then tweeted out an incredible picture of a hand, one of the hardest things to draw. While he will tell you that it was far from perfect, I was considerably impressed with his ability to capture the image.
Manan Shah breaks the stereo type for college level math teachers that I have had, and for a log time think were deserved. Getting to meet him in person at NJPAECET2 was phenomenal. He is funny, intelligent, and in general, he uses those powers for good. I was excited to have his support during my session at the conference, even if he was a few minutes late…
Overall Manan is the type of educator that gives me hope that not all at the university level are either careless or generally ill equipped to make strong decisions in the classroom. Manan has shared (through twitter and through his blog Math Misery) that he gives his classes every opportunity to learn math skills that are useful in their life. Thanks to Manan Shah for being one of the most interesting people I have connected with and met through twitter. I look forward to seeing you again at EdCamp NJ.