• Title:
    Professor of Mathematics, Director of the Mathematics Program
  • Department:
    Mathematics and Computer Science

Teresa D. Magnus, Ph.D.



Dr. Teresa Magnus is a Professor of Mathematics and the Director of the Mathematics program at Rivier University. Hired in 1998, she has taught a broad range of courses, including Abstract and Linear Algebra, Discrete Mathematics, Problem-Solving and Modeling, Geometry, Calculus and Functions, core curriculum and developmental mathematics. She has advised the University’s undergraduate research projects in algebraic coding theory, hyperbolic geometry, and mathematical voting theory. 

Dr. Magnus’ research areas include both mathematical content and mathematical pedagogy.  She has published on the relationship between geometric structure and coordinate rings, and she has explored applications of discrete mathematics to voting and cryptography. Her passion for teaching has influenced her recent work in curriculum development, active learning, and alternative assessment. She continues to explore how active learning can improve access to, understanding of, and retention of mathematics. Currently, Dr. Magnus is writing an online, open-source, interactive geometry textbook, “Polyominos, Polygons, and Polyhedra: Discovering Geometry through Explorations”, which encourages students to develop a deeper understanding of the foundations of geometry through active learning and hands-on exploration using both tactile and virtual manipulatives.  

Dr. Magnus continues to be active in the New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics organization, where she served as President from 2020-22 and as a Board Member from 2007-23. Before arriving at Rivier, she taught mathematics at Saint Mary’s College (Ind.), Albion College (Mich.), and Sweet Briar College (Va.). 


  • Ph.D., University of Virginia
  • M.S., University of Virginia
  • B.A., University of Dallas

Academic Philosophy

Mathematics is an important subject for engagement in society today, not just for technical applications, but also for understanding our world, discerning truth, and making personal and civic decisions. All students are capable of learning mathematics if they are open to growth. We learn mathematics by exploring possibilities, trying out strategies, and sharing our discoveries. Mistakes are welcome in mathematics; they often lead to new insight and deeper understanding. 

Unfortunately, our traditional way of teaching mathematics tends to emphasis speed over thought and perfection over understanding. Dr. Magnus strives to provide students the opportunity to explore ideas that are new to them, to appreciate that multiple strategies may solve a problem, to experience the thrill of solving a challenging mathematical puzzle, and to develop the skills and confidence to use mathematics throughout their lives. 


  • Geometry 
  • Algebra 
  • Active and inquiry-based learning in mathematics 
  • Writing, portfolio, and formative assessment in mathematics education 
  • Mathematical preparation of future teachers 

Recent Publications and Proceedings

  1.  “Dividing Space: First Day Activity for Math Camp and for Linear Algebra (and Other Courses), presented at the American Mathematical Society Special Session on Math Circle Activities as a Gateway into Mathematics, Joint Mathematics Meetings, Boston MA, January 4, 2023. 
  2. “Shaking up the Culture: Eliminating High-Stakes Tests in the Midst of a Pandemic,” presented at the Mathematical Association of America Virtual Mathfest, August 4, 2021. 
  3. “Rethinking Assessment Strategies for the IBLT Environment,” presented at the National Inquiry-Based Learning and Teaching Conference, June 7, 2019. 
  4. “Teaching Preservice K-8 Teachers Geometry and Reasoning through Purposeful Play,” National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference, Washington DC, April 27, 2018.  
  5. “Less is More: Mathematical Modeling for non-STEM Majors,” presented at the Joint Mathematics Meetings as part of the Mathematical Association of America Contributed Paper Session “Meaningful Modeling in the First Two Years of College, Atlanta GA, January 5, 2017. 
  6. “(De)Encrypting with KidRSA — No KidING! Using Mathematics to Keep Communications Private”, with N. Banakli, J. Debnath, and V. Vasilevska, CCICADA Education Modules, Command, Control, and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis, A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence, 2016, 
  7. “Will the Best Candidate Win?” first published in Mathematics Teacher in 2000 and reprinted in Using Activities from the “Mathematics Teacher” to Support Principles and Standards, ed. Kimberley Girard and Margaret Aukshun, Reston VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2004. 
  8. “Faulkner Geometry,” Geometriae Dedicata. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 59: 1-28, 1996. “Will the Best Candidate Win?” Mathematics Teacher. Reston VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 93.1: 18-28, 2000.