Dr. Jessica Sorrells came to Converse in 2015 and became department chair of Mathematics & Computer Science in 2017. She teaches Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, Abstract Algebra, Modern Geometry, and many other courses across the mathematics curriculum.
Dr. Sorrells was a 2015-2016 Mathematical Association of America Project NExT fellow. As part of this program, she attended and organized mathematics education workshops at three national mathematics conferences. In particular, she is passionate about teaching with inquiry-based learning methods and has given presentations on her experiences designing inquiry-based courses at several regional and national conferences. Dr. Sorrells’ teaching has been formally recognized with two awards: the 2019 South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) excellence in teaching award and the 2021 Kathryne Amelia Brown award.
Dr. Sorrells is active in mathematical research. One of her ongoing projects uses graph theory to study self-assembly of DNA nanostructures. Her research group has been supported by the Institute for Experimental and Computational Research in Mathematics (ICERM) at Brown University. She enjoys mentoring undergraduate research projects and bringing students along to conferences.
Before arriving at Converse, Dr. Sorrells earned her PhD and MS in mathematics from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa and a BA in mathematics from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. At the University of Iowa, she was recognized with an Outstanding Teaching Assistant award and served as chair of the math graduate board.
In her free time, Dr. Sorrells enjoys reading, yoga, cooking, and exploring the Carolinas. Her mathematical hero is Emmy Noether.