"Dr. Burnap is an outstanding teacher," writes a student. "He takes an extremely difficult subject, math, and brings it down to a level where everyone can easily learn. He is helpful to his students and will never leave anyone falling behind. He also has a wonderful personality and is very approachable at all times. Dr. Burnap knows how to hold students' attention by telling jokes and making class interactive and fun. I absolutely love Dr. Burnap. He is the best teacher I have EVER had in my life!"
Dr. Burnap's teaching is grounded in well developed teaching goals and practices. He believes, "While setting high standards is important, it is essential to realize that most courses include students with a wide range of mathematical backgrounds, interest, and talent. Consequently, it is important that high level goals be approached in small steps. Because mastery comes from the act of doing, students must be engaged in classroom activities and must attempt assigned work." His students may not be able to reiterate his goals, but their comments on his teaching reflect that he is achieving them:
"He teaches calculus, which can be very difficult to understand. However, Dr. Burnap breaks it down and teaches in a way that I can understand. He gives examples and offers extra help. He sends the class e-mails on what we covered in class and what the homework is, plus additional announcements. We also have web work assignments. He seems like he loves what he does and he really wants us to do well."
"How someone can be enthusiastic in math, I have no idea. Dr. Burnap understands what we find difficult, and clearly explains it to us. He is challenging, but fair, and very generous with questions, and in willingness to meet with students personally. Love the wacky sense of humor."
In addition to classroom teaching and individual tutorials, he has a very long history of being involved with other teaching/student-related activities. Recently, these have included leading University-wide discussions on Teaching and Learning and a series of Teaching Discussions within his department, and serving on panels for Summer Institutes. He served on the College Task Force on the Evaluation of Teaching and helped plan the 2007 Summer Institute on Large Classes. He chairs the College Course and Curriculum Committee, is one of only a few advisors in the Department of Mathematics, and is a Learning Community Associate.
A mathematics major concludes, "Dr. Burnap is hands-down the BEST math professor I have had. He has an amazing way of explaining difficult concepts so they make sense. I still remember and use many of his clever memory tricks. I serve as a tutor and find myself explaining concepts to students the same way Dr. Burnap explained them to me. Often times students say, 'Wow. That really makes sense now. I wish I'd heard it said that way before!' I want to say 'Thank you!!' to an outstanding professor."