Brittany Stephenson


Graduate Teaching Associate, University of Tennessee

Knoxville, TN

Classes Taught

Math 115 Spring 2018

Math 115 Fall 2017

Math 141 Fall 2016

Math 141 Fall 2015

Math 123 Fall 2014

Math 123 Summer 2014

Math 142 Spring 2014

Math 123 Fall 2013

Math 152 Spring 2013

Math 151 Fall 2012


University of Tennessee, PhD (Expected 2018)

University of Tennessee, M.S. (2015)

Mississippi State University, B.S. (2012)

I am in my final year as a PhD candidate and Graduate Teaching Associate at the University of Tennessee. I very much enjoy teaching mathematics and am committed to getting students involved in the learning process. Outside of math, I most enjoy spending time with my two Boston terriers (Rudy and Corky), traveling, Netflix binging, and biking.

Teaching Philosophy

In my classroom, I combine instructor-centered learning with student-centered learning opportunities. Because it is often difficult to jump right into new mathematical concepts without lecturing some first, my goal is to maintain a balance between active learning and lecture—of some form. By including active learning opportunities, I am challenging students to improve their critical thinking skills and encouraging them to collaborate with peers. If students are struggling with a particular idea, it is my job to find a more effective way to teach it.

My teaching style and methods are constantly evolving. As a Graduate Teaching Associate, I have made an extra effort to stay up to date on pedagogical research so that my methods are grounded in evidence, and I want to continue to grow in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL), which promotes teaching as a subject worthy for research. I am committed to lifelong learning and enjoy attending teaching-focused workshops, seminars, and conferences to inspire my growth and foster collaborative discussion.

Research Interests

My research interests include mathematical disease modeling and optimal control. I am interested in developing and analyzing epidemiological models of infectious disease transmission; in particular, my research has primarily focused on Clostridium difficile within-hospital transmission. Infectious disease models can provide detailed insight into the transmission dynamics of pathogens. Through models, I aim to determine disease surveillance and control strategies as well as evaluate the effectiveness of such strategies. I incorporate data from the literature and from the use of parameter estimation techniques to carefully select values that are useful for 1) understanding the dynamics of disease spread and 2) simulating outbreaks to assess the effectiveness of prevention strategies. In addition, developing intervention strategies through the use of optimal control theory is a complementary component of my research program. My ultimate goal is to use my results to not only help interpret epidemiological data but also to support decisions for disease control and intervention practices.