Instructor applies math to his life at young age and loves it

Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 8:56pm

Peter Legner is the newest math instructor at USU-CEU. “When I was in the first grade, I wanted to compute batting averages, so I taught myself long division, and I’ve loved math since that day,” he said.

“My favorite thing about being a teacher is working with students.” Legner was a pastor of a church 20 years, but decided to change professions because it would give him the opportunity to continue to work with young people. Legner taught math at the University of Idaho before moving to Price.

He was born in Kalamazoo, Mich., but grew up in Tipp City, Ohio. Legner graduated from Tippecanoe High School in 1982. He graduated with honors from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a bachelor’s in arts degree in math.

Legner graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary with a masters of divinity in 1990. Then in 1998, he received his doctor of ministry. The title of his doctoral dissertation is “The Relationship Between Sexual Behavior and Spiritual Well-Being in Young Adult.”

While in ministry, Legner was appointed to start a church from scratch, “It was a blast, but it didn’t work. There weren’t enough people so they weren’t able to pay our expenses.” After the opportunity the church had given him, Legner then went back to a traditional church. “It just wasn’t fun anymore. I became used to planning events and outreach activities for large groups. Leading worship on Sunday morning wasn’t what I wanted anymore,” he said.

“My biggest regret is not taking enough risks,” said Legner. He’s had his share of fun though. The craziest thing he has ever done was run around Cincinnati in just a pair of underwear in the middle of the night when he was in college.

“If I could go back to a moment in my life, I would go back to my college years. I wish I had spent more time developing relationships and enjoying college life outside of my classes, but as an instructor I wish some of my students would take their classes more seriously,” Legner said.

Legner is most proud of being able to maintain his integrity in some difficult situations.

In math, Legner’s favorite equation is the derivative of the tangent function. “I had not taken math for 20 years, and a student came up and asked me what that was. I said, I don’t know…secant squared? The instructor next to me insisted that I was wrong and the student listened to the other instructor but in the end he was the one that was wrong.”

“I got into math because of sports” Legner said. In the summer, Legner works as an official scorer for the Spokane Indians baseball team. His favorite sport to play is soccer.

“I love math because it is similar to sports. Math is not fun for some people, but I enjoy the fact that I’ve been able to use math in competitive sports. That is one of the reasons that I love it.”

Filed under: lifestyles