A person’s curiosity in one thing often sparks a completely new interest. Such was the case with Dr. Karen McCready, assistant professor of mathematics at King’s College.

McCready, who started teaching at King’s in August, didn’t always expect to be a math teacher.  Her love for art and art history eventually catalyzed her to recognize the mathematical elements of art.

One such element is the golden ratio, which is often used in choosing the dimensions of buildings, paintings and sculptures, she said.

McCready’s life as a mathematician started at the College of New Jersey, where she became a mathematics major.  She tutored while she was there and found she enjoyed teaching math as well.

After graduating, McCready became a teacher’s assistant at Lehigh University. She later decided to go back to school for her master’s and doctorate degrees, studying at the same school where she was employed. This gave her the experience of being both a student and a teacher at the same time.

“It was neat to be in between,” McCready said.  “I think it gave me a better understanding of my students and made me even more attracted to teaching.”

McCready’s love for teaching was what drew her to King’s. She liked that it is a small school with small class sizes, and that its main emphasis is on teaching.

“In other schools, you sometimes find that the emphasis is placed on things like extracurricular activities and sports,” she said.  “King’s isn’t like that.  You can tell the teachers are all passionate about what they do.”

McCready said her favorite part of teaching is interacting with students and showing them that math is like a puzzle. “Some students struggle with math, but when I’m able to show them the way the pieces fit together and they understand, it’s very rewarding.”

McCready teaches two sections of finite math and one section of calculus at King’s.