Michael Plank

Location: School of Mathematics and Statistics
Michael Plank

Nominated by Associate Professor Alex James, Mathematics and Statistics

Mike describes himself as an innovative, effective and enthusiastic teacher of mathematics. By putting himself in his student’s shoes, he adapts his teaching methods to reach a wide variety of students from different backgrounds and learning objectives.

He is constantly thinking of new ways in which he can make the subject matter accessible, relevant and memorable for his students. He has a student-centred approach to teaching and his practices are designed to enable students to get the best possible learning experiences, whether in a lecture of 300 or afterwards when spending time speaking to individual students who have had their interest sparked by the information he has presented.

His colleagues comment that he is so focused on student learning that even casual conversations in the staff-room are invariably centred on how staff can improve student outcomes.

Mike comes across as a thoughtful, friendly, approachable and helpful guide who is willing the students to succeed. He is also constantly trying to improve the way he teaches. His aim is to help the students find their own way through the subject matter and to develop into independent learners. He communicates ideas in an accessible way inspiring student interest in the subject and sharing his passion and excitement for it.