A little about me

My name is Reza Khadem, and I was born in the southern city of Ahvaz, in Iran. I have lived in Houston with my wife and daughter since 1990s. Houston is the most diverse city in the United States; and I, well, I fit right in! My hobbies include the outdoors, the view of the ocean, history of math, science, and society, music, books, road trips, and anything that intrigues my human senses and mind!

My Contact Information

E-mail: reza.khadem@sjcd.edu

Phone: 281-998-6150  Ext. 3038

Website: http://wwww.mrkhadem.com

My school Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/reza.khadem.963

You may email me (best way to reach me) at anytime, or call my office at anytime; I’ll return your e-mails and calls within a business day.

The following are suggestions for positive and useful email communication:

  •  Please include your class, days, times along with your name in all e-mails.
  •  I know sometimes it is tempting, but no sarcasm, confrontational language, use of profanity or #$%*! symbols to imply expletives!

A little more about me

High School years (1970s)

My Interest in teaching started in high school in Iran, where I tutored my friends. In Iran the common wisdom was that if one did not major in math after 8th grade, then it would be hard to find jobs that paid well! I finished my high school majoring in math/physics in Esfahan, a historic city in the central Iran. The Iran-Iraq war had caused the closure of our high school where I was supposed to start 12th grade. I and all my sibling eventually left Iran.

Immigration from Iran to Italy , 80s

I left Iran, and traveled to Turkey, Switzerland, and eventually Italy, where I lived for about two years, and where I waited to join my sister in the United States.

Getting my degrees in the U.S., 90s

I finally ended up in the United States . I came to Houston, where my sister had settled years before I did. I went to a community college, and transferred to the University of Houston. At college I tutored my classmates, and  I became a TA when I was an undergraduate at the University Of Houston. I ran recitation classes for calculus courses. My recitation classes were always packed! After I got my B.S. in mathematics and a teaching certificate from the state of Texas I decided to teach for HISD.

Teaching in High School

I started working for HISD, and taught AP Calculus and AP Statistics. My students scored 3, 4, or even 5 on AP exams. Our success in AP courses was due to the hard work of students themselves; I just provided them with the proper curriculum to be successful. I remember we did things like meeting in a McDonald’s restaurant near school on a Saturday to prepare for the AP Statistics and Calculus exams.

I decided to move up to community colleges. I left HISD, and accepted a position at San Jacinto College-central. I had started an adjunct instructor position at the Houston Community College when I was still at HISD. I taught developmental courses, and I was working on my Master’s degree at the University of Houston taking evening courses.

Years of Teaching in Community Colleges

I had to adjust to the, somehow, different environment at the Community College. I started reading more about cognitive science, and how mathematical (scientific) concepts are learned. I incorporated technology, class discussions, and motivational examples into my lessons.

At San Jacinto College-central I regularly teach Statistics,  Calculus I,  Calculus II, Pre-calculus, Linear Algebra, Ccollege Algebra, and other math courses such as Finite Math, and Calculus III. The cognitive process of learning is fascinating to me. I think the role of the teacher is fundamental in the process of creating disequilibrium (the messing up of the old way of understanding) in student’s mind, and helping student to build a new equilibrium (the new way of understanding).  I think teaching is an art. It is not easy to teach, but it is challenging, rewarding, and fun. I love to see concepts being conveyed to students, learning in action. I believe in a class discussion as a part of an environment conducive to learning. Other ways of creating learning environment are possible, and have been implemented by many instructors. The key is to have an elaborate plan that takes into account what students know, what they need to learn, and how the process of assimilation and accommodation, as Piaget put it, are being used to create an equilibrium.

I am interested in the history and pedagogy of mathematics, participate in the meetings of the HPM of Americas. I am also interested in math games and puzzles. I have invented a puzzle which is called reZquare. You can see a video of it here , and its page on Amazon.com here.