Hooman Behzadpour is a 2017 Bezos Scholar and Mathematics teacher at Orange High School in Orange, NJ, and at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).
Hooman has been a math and computer science educator for nine years. He enjoys all things mathematical—with the notable exception of Rubik’s cubes, those are just infinitely frustrating—including chess, logic puzzles, and mind games. In his free time, he is passionate about working alongside friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors to build stronger, more unified and virtuous communities, with an emphasis on working with children and youth. Continue below for more on Hooman.
What are you up to right now? What projects and new ideas are exciting you personally, academically, professionally
Currently, I’m teaching AP Calculus, AP Computer Science Principles, and SAT Math at Orange High School, and Calculus II at NJIT. I’ve also been selected as an instructor for AP Daily, which basically means I’ll be making videos for students across the world in Calculus BC. Fun, fun! I do anticipate a transition away from the classroom in the not-so-distant future, though I’m not sure yet what that will entail.
Have you been keeping in touch with your Bezos Scholar Alumni, and if so, how?
I’m in pretty frequent touch with my student scholar partner, Taiwo. Other than that, I send occasional texts with fellow alumni.
Which influential books, albums, podcasts, or films would you personally recommend to the BSP community of curious minds?
Factfulness would top the list! It’s a pretty light and very enjoyable read. The book makes a convincing, data-based argument that the world is better than we think, and shares many reasons why we’re all so wrong in our perceptions of the world around us. Another enjoyable book was Range, which talks about the importance of being well-rounded and a generalist, as opposed to the current trendy focus on early specialization.
Who or what are you finding inspiration in right now?
So many people—across both the nation and the globe—are actively looking for solutions. The world has plenty of ails, but it finally seems that we have people stepping out of their comfort zones and searching for ways to better communities. I hope this is just the beginning of an even more prosperous future for all of humanity. Specifically, the young people I serve with in the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program (JYSEP), which helps middle-schoolers reach their potential in all facets of life, have been a great source of inspiration. The future is in great hands!
Anything else you want to share with the BSP community?
As Baháʼu'lláh said, “the betterment of the world can be accomplished through pure and goodly deeds and through commendable and seemly conduct”. You’re all amazing. Keep doing what you’re doing to better your community, and, in turn, the world.