Dr. Eduard Tsekanovskii
“If you don’t teach with heart, you’re not a teacher, you’re a showman.”
How does one go from teaching at a high school with limited electricity in the former Soviet Union, to publishing more than 100 papers in internationally peer-reviewed journals and presenting at mathematics conferences around the globe? The answer isn’t simple. Originally from the USSR, Dr. Eduard Tsekanovskii obtained his Ph.D. in mathematics and physics in Kharkov, Ukraine. He also received a prestigious Doctor of Science degree in physics and mathematics.
With no money, job, or command of the English language, Tsekanovskii came to Buffalo in 1992 after the collapse of the USSR. He had to take his driving test four times and learn a new language. For him, continually leaving the TV on was a great way to listen to English speakers and expand his vocabulary. His first job in America was teaching mathematics courses at Erie Community College and also at the University at Buffalo in 1994. He later held a position at the University of Missouri, but settled down at Niagara University in 1998.
Tsekanovskii considers mathematics as the fundamental “queen of all science.” He equates mathematics to a prima-donna, saying that you can’t treat her poorly or bad things will happen. It is obvious that he has a deep respect for his subject matter, so he teaches with heart.
“If you don’t teach with heart, you’re not a teacher, you’re a showman,” Tsekanovskii says. He admits that he’s not entirely sure why his students like him in the beginning. However, -they understand the value of his instruction after completing his courses.