Assistant Professor of Mathematics
At North Park since: 2011
Students in Aaron Kaestner’s classes can expect to learn more than math. Known as “Dr. K,” he regularly integrates issues of faith and multiculturalism. For example, his calculus course investigates the role religion played in the life of Isaac Newton, while concepts and structures focuses on social justice issues and how to use mathematics to promote a more just world.
The ability to incorporate these lessons into his classes exemplifies why he enjoys teaching at the school.
“My position at North Park allows me to intertwine and balance my desires for spirituality, education, and research,” he says. “Furthermore, its connection with Chicago, especially the neighborhood of Albany Park, provides a regular, yet not always expected, opportunity for learning.”
Whether the learning takes place in the classroom, in the neighborhood, or in downtown Chicago, Dr. K extols the Math Department’s “student-first approach” to teaching. “Our doors are always open and we love having students drop by to discuss our courses, our research, or whatever is on their mind,” he says.
Dr. K is a member of the Mathematical Association of America and the American Mathematical Society. His research interests include knot theory, quantum topology, and math education.
PhD, Pure Mathematics, University of Illinois at Chicago
MA, Mathematics, St. Louis University
BS, Mathematics, Indiana University
A. Kaestner, L. Kauffman. “Parity, Skein Polynomials and Categorification.” Journal of Knot Theory and Its Ramifications vol 21, #13 (November 2012): 56 pages.