New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Michael Barrus

The Brigham Young University Mathematics Department is proud to welcome Dr. Michael Barrus, a visiting mathematics professor with a knack for research.

Dr. Barrus grew up in Utah and received his undergraduate and master’s degres in Mathematics from Brigham Young University. During his time at BYU, Dr. Barrus was enrolled in a class with Dr. David Wright. It was through a small study group for this class that Dr. Barrus met his future wife, Michelle Kitchen.

“I was afraid to ask her out right away; I thought it might make our study sessions awkward,” Barrus said. “So instead I waited until the end of the semester to take her on a date.” From there, the rest was history.

The couple eventually moved to Illinois so Dr. Barrus could continue his education with a PhD in math as well as a master’s degree in math teaching from the University of Illinois. He then taught for three years at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota, where he and a colleague started Math Circle for local elementary school students.

Dr. Barrus was drawn to BYU because of the plethora of research opportunities offered by the math department. During his time here, he has already become involved in working with seventh graders through Math Circle.

In his free time, Dr. Barrus enjoys reading novels (such as Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables) and practicing the piano.

-Michelle Drennan, Mathematics Department