Graduate Student Post: Younggon Bae

  • May 18, 2016

Younggon Bae moved to Michigan from South Korea, and began MSU’s doctoral program in mathematics education in the Fall of 2015. Within his first year in the PRIME program, Younggon began to shape and hone his research interests, which are “mostly focused on undergraduate mathematics education.”

Before moving to Michigan, Younggon lived in Seoul, South Korea for nearly his entire life. After completing high school, Younggon decided to stay in Seoul to attend Yonsei University. Here, Younggon would spend six years studying Mathematics for both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. It was during his undergraduate studies at Yonsei University that Younggon was shown the “profound beauty and enormous applicability of mathematics.” Younggon says that this allowed him to “realize the intellectual pleasure of understanding mathematics and to discover [his] desire to obtain in-depth knowledge of cutting-edge mathematics.”

After completing his Master’s degree program, Younggon was a mathematics instructor at the Korean Naval Academy for three years where he taught pre-requisite mathematics courses for freshmen and sophomores in the Academy. Younggon was also involved in the Academy’s Admissions and Public Relations Departments in addition to teaching.

Younggon with posterWhile teaching mathematics, Younggon developed a deep interest in attempting to understand the nature of mathematics learning, and how to improve “teaching practices in undergraduate mathematics courses to meet the needs of students with different majors and career prospects.” This interest is what led him to pursue a PhD in mathematics education.

Before joining PRIME’s mathematics education doctoral program, Younggon spent time as a mathematics education doctoral student at Seoul National University. After completing some coursework at SNU, Younggon began to develop more specific research interests and decided to attend a mathematics doctoral degree program in the United States where he would have “more opportunities to [participate] in research focused on collegiate mathematics and study with colleagues who share similar research interests.”

Now, as a member of PRIME’s doctoral program, Younggon has spent his time focusing on his academics, research, and “learning the community of the campus, city, and country.” Younggon is currently involved in both the International Friendship Program and the International Buddy Program. The International Buddy Program, run by the Graduate School, will allow Younggon to meet with international TAs to help them understand a college student’s life here in America.

Younggon’s main goals for himself are to “learn how to communicate well with others” and to be a more “effective and efficient academic reader and writer.”

Younggon and WifeOutside of his involvement with the PRIME program, Younggon most enjoys spending time with his wife. On the weekends, Younggon and his wife enjoy shopping, dining, cooking, visiting new places, and binge watching American TV shows like The Big Bang Theory.

Upon his graduation from MSU, Younggon is hoping to have the “opportunity to work at [a] research institution in the U.S.” so he can teach mathematics, and share his gained knowledge with others in the mathematics education research community. Younggon also says that he is happy to be involved in such a wonderful community, and is grateful for everyone who has helped make his experience so great.


Written by John J. Thomas, III