Get to know Les Steinlage
For the past 51 years, Les Steinlage has been at the University of Dayton. Steinlage started his career at UD as an undergraduate student in 1961. He graduated with a BS in mathematics in 1965 and with an MS in mathematics in 1969. From 1969 to 2000, Steinlage taught part-time for the University of Dayton. During this period, he was also teaching full-time as a mathematics teacher at local high schools. In 2000, Steinlage became a full-time lecturer for the Department of Mathematics.
"I like the atmosphere and how beautiful the campus is. I like the people I work with. And I get a lot of energy from the students," Steinlage explains. "I like the experience of working with good people and having students that usually have a friendly disposition."
Finding students with a friendly disposition on UD’s campus is sometimes easy. However, it can become difficult when students are stuck in a class they do not want to take. One of those classes is MTH 128/129, the class Steinlage not only teaches but also helps to enhance each year. MTH 128/129 is a mathematics course for students in the School of Business. Most of the students do not want to take this class. Steinlage works hard each year to develop content and select textbooks that will get the students more involved with the class. He tries to incorporate problems his students would see in work-related situations. He then shows them how to solve these problems with the mathematics they learn in class.
"This technique makes it more relevant to the students. Then they have more interest in it and will understand it better," Steinlage explains.
Steinlage enjoys working with the students and helping them to understand the concepts and ideas in his classes. He likes when he is able to figure out a presentation that gets the light to go on in his students. Steinlage also enjoys interacting with the other instructors who teach MTH 128/129. Since Steinlage has taught the course for many years, he has become the expert for this course. When new instructors are hired, Steinlage becomes their mentor and helps prepare them to teach the course.
Steinlage claims, "The interactions are big part of why I like teaching. It keeps me young at heart."
Steinlage enjoys teaching and does not see it as a job, but as having fun. However, when Steinlage is not teaching, he enjoys spending time in his woodshop. Yet, he still incorporates math into his hobby. He likes to create puzzles in his woodshop. Not only does he find fun in making the puzzles but also in explaining to other people how the puzzles work.
“I always liked to figure things out and how to explain it to others,” Steinlage says. His own passion for learning and sharing that knowledge is what has kept him teaching for all these years.