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September 01, 2023

Spotlight on Miha Habič, Professor of Mathematics

By Jesse Wein-Gold, student intern for Communications and Marketing

Miha Habič serves as an assistant Professor of Mathematics for Simon’s Rock, where he started in 2019. There is something for everyone in the Mathematics course options, as Miha offers engaging classes for the novice learner to the devout STEM student.

Here you can introduce yourself to basic programming languages, such as Python and Java, dip your toes into Elementary Functions, or explore all the way to Vector Calculus. For students less interested in the formal pursuit of Mathematics, Miha still manages to make classes both engaging and exploratory. For example, the Logic course is an interdisciplinary class that incorporates mathematical reasoning and philosophical implications. Miha also continues the Simon’s Rock tradition of Math 099, a class meant to prepare students to succeed in other math classes.

Dr. Habič started his scholarship at the University of Ljubljana, receiving both his BSc and MSc in Mathematics. Before coming to Simon’s Rock, Miha taught at Hunter College in New York as a graduate student, going on to hold postdoctoral research positions at Charles University and Czech Technical University in Prague. His research is focused on mathematical logic–much like his classes–where he particularly researches the study of infinity and its properties, computability theory, and set theory.

Reflecting on his time as a Professor, Miha shares: 

“What is usually the most fun is showing students how our vague ideas and intuitions about space, movement, probability, and truth can be formalized and made precise using the language of mathematics. At the end of the day, you can only start solving a problem once you've made it clear to yourself what the problem really is (and others around you understand and agree with your interpretation).”

The Mathematics of Games and Puzzles course aims to explore the underlying patterns present throughout beloved games and puzzles, weaving mathematical concepts with practical play. In this class specifically, Dr. Habič connects the foundational with the exploratory, as students played games both in-class and for homework, culminating in a day of play. Students served as discerning and knowledgeable to their peers, using their newfound mathematical understanding while playing games to show how to “beat your friends, or how to cooperate with them to create beautiful outcomes.” 

He expands further:

“I'm always amazed at how creative Simon's Rock students are. There is this natural tendency to take an idea and run with it as far as you can, regardless of what the teacher might have had in mind. It really keeps me on my toes, and makes me design my classes to be more open-ended. But the goal, what really matters, is to try to find a good puzzle, a problem that a student can care about and think about, or a new way of thinking about old problems. I try to do that in all of my classes, from the introductory ones to the advanced ones.”

Miha Habic with students