MAGS Teaching Award: Patrick Heslin

Author: Judy Hygema

Patrick Heslin

MAGS Teaching Award Recipient

Patrick Heslin is a 5th year Ph.D. student in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Notre Dame, where he has taught over 400 students across 7 semesters. Originally from county Leitrim in Ireland, he completed his undergraduate and master’s degrees at Maynooth University before coming to the U.S. for his Ph.D. studies. Patrick believes that a lecture is most effective when treated like a performance, and that having an underlying energy goes a long way to holding an audience. He prioritizes concepts over methods and believes that building trust with students is a central component in overcoming the common stigma and fear around college level mathematics. He often incorporates active learning into his classrooms and has been an instructor of record for several flipped classroom models, both online and in person. His own research interests lie in the geometry and analysis of non-linear partial differential equations arising in fluid dynamics and other areas of mathematical physics. More precisely, he studies Riemannian geometry of diffeomorphism groups, equipped with various Sobolev-type metrics.