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Tim Busken

  Math Professor
  Palomar College and MiraCosta College Applied Mathematics,
San Diego State University, CA.
         with a Concentration in
     Dynamical Systems Theory


Contact Me

I am very enthusiastic about teaching math, and enjoy coming to work each day!! I strive to facilitate an active learning environment that provides a high quality learning experience to my students, while supporting the mission, goals, values and vision of my district and community. I believe that all students deserve my respect, regardless of their age, color, religion, background or cultural identity and affiliation. I believe in the traditional lecture, but I also believe in integrating a variety of teaching strategies and activities into my instruction time that will facilitate student-centered learning. I use case studies, Socratic Teaching, cooperative learning exercises, flipped classroom instruction, and math jeopardy games and flashcards. I have an affection for incorporating technology into activities and assignments whenever I can!

Practicing effective communication skills with students is the best way to foster and sustain positive classroom dynamics and student success throughout the semester. It is important for me to build and preserve a rapport with my students and simultaneously establish and maintain academic standards, control of my classroom and a pace that allows for good coverage of all of the topics in the course outline. Whenever I step into the classroom, my primary objective is to create an atmosphere where students are comfortable about asking questions and discussing solutions and concepts. My goal is to not only have students leave each class feeling confident they understand the theory and concepts presented, but also to have them feel like they had their questions answered, and that they can do the homework. When students do have questions, I focus my attention on the student, avoid interrupting or judging him or her, and I genuinely show interest in addressing their questions. Oftentimes, I ask students if I have answered all of their questions before I take the next student question or start to give a new example.

I like to begin each class by giving important reminders about due dates and prompting students to ask questions about problems we did in the previous class, or from the assigned homework or practice test. Usually students have a question or two. On some occasions when students do not have questions, but I suspect they really do, I believe in using Socratic teaching to measure their level of knowledge and understanding so that I know where to start in my lecturing of a finished or previously unfinished topic. Whenever I begin lecturing on a new topic or section, I communicate the objectives of the section and share insight into the motivation behind the theory. I explain what students can expect and will gain from learning the concepts and from completing homework exercises. When providing students with examples, I write out or give students a printed copy of the list of steps or properties used in the procedure I'm carrying out alongside the actual steps leading to the solution.

After giving an example or two, I believe in having students demonstrate their understanding by having them complete a similar exercise. When students cannot do this, I help them myself or I ask them to check with their neighbors to see if they can get assistance. I work my way around the room and I coach students, answer their questions, and I let other students coach their neighbors before I write up the solution on the white board and answer any final questions. Afterwards, I have students complete progressively more difficult problems that are built into my lesson or worksheet. I frequently question or survey the class as to their understanding before moving on. Each student is asked to give me a thumbs up (indicating we do not need to do another similar problem), sideways thumb (indicating we need to do another similar problem) or a thumbs down (indicating that there is still a question, major lack of understanding, or other similar issue or concern).

Whenever I'm not teaching, grading, prepping, conducting office hours or programming, I regularly take walks with my wife, Nicky, and dog, Andrew in Mission Bay Park! I also enjoy learning more about the sciences, technology, math teaching and the latest trends in web design.

 It's hard to beat a person who never gives up. 

— Babe Ruth

Work Experience

June 2015 – present
Palomar College, San Marcos, CA
Adjunct Mathematics Faculty
Statistics, Algebra for Statistics, College Algebra, Intermediate and Elementary Algebra, PreAlgebra.

AUGUST 2013 – AUGUST 2014, August 2015 - present
MiraCosta College, Oceanside, CA
Associate Mathematics Faculty
Statistics, PreAlgebra, Elementary and Intermediate Algebra

AUGUST 2015 – May 2016
Cuyamaca College, El Cajon, CA
Adjunct Mathematics Faculty
Instruction of Statistics.

AUGUST 2014 – May 2015
Porterville College, Porterville, CA
Assistant Professor
Instruction of Trigonometry, and Beginning and Intermediate algebra.
AUGUST 2013 – AUGUST 2014
Palomar College, San Marcos, CA
Adjunct Mathematics Faculty
Instruction of Statistics, Prealgebra, Beginning, Intermediate and College Algebra.

AUGUST 2013 – MAY 2014
Miramar College, San Diego, CA
Adjunct Mathematics Faculty
Instruction of PreAlgebra and Statistics.

AUGUST 2012 – MAY 2014
Grossmont College, El Cajon, CA
Adjunct Mathematics Faculty
PreCalculus, Algebra and Statistics instruction.

Mesa College, San Diego, CA
Adjunct Mathematics Faculty
Instruction of first semester calculus at Point Loma H.S.

AUGUST 2011 – MAY 2012
Southwestern College, Chula Vista, CA
Intern Mathematics Faculty
Instruction of PreAlgebra, Beginning Algebra and Intermediate Algebra.

OCTOBER 2010 – MAY 2011
CA Department of Rehabilitation
Discrete Math Tutor

San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Graduate Mathematics Instructor
Large class instruction of freshman precalculus. Second semester calculus recitation.

MARCH 2004 – JANUARY 2007
Math & Science Center, San Diego Mesa College
Mathematics & Statistics Tutor
Over 1000 hours of one-on-one and group tutoring of community college math and statistics.


2009 – 2012
M.S. Applied Mathematics
San Diego State University
with a Concentration in
Dynamical Systems

2007 – 2009
B.S. Applied Mathematics
San Diego State University

2003 – 2007
A.A. Mathematics
A.A. Transfer Studies
San Diego Mesa College


2014 – 2015
Website Construction
Student Veteran's Organization
Porterville College

2014 – 2015
Website Redesign for
the Natural
Science & Mathematics Division
Porterville College

2013 – 2014
Math 15 PreAlgebra Redesign
Committee Member
Palomar College

2013 – 2014
Intro to GeoGebra CAS
Flex Week Workshop
Grossmont College

2012 – 2014
Intro to \(\LaTeX\) Typesetting
Flex Week Workshop
Grossmont College

2010 – 2013
Regions of Stability for a
Linear Differential Equation
with Two Rationally
Dependent Delays


HTML5, CSS3, Bootstrap.CSS,
\(\LaTeX\) Typesetting System,
\(\LaTeX\) Beamer Document Class,
\(\LaTeX\) exam class,
Acro\(\TeX\) packages, Blackboard
Course Management System,
T.I. graphing calculators, Matlab, Maple

JavaScript, GeoGebra, Dreamweaver,
MAA Webwork Problem Authoring,

MathJax, Perl, Java,
Windows, Macs, CCC Confer, Mathxl,
MyMathlab, Aleks, Geometer’s
Sketchpad, Word, Powerpoint, Excel,
Camtasia Relay


Academic Excellence in Mathematics Award
Department of Mathematics
San Diego State University

2007 – 2009
College of Sciences Dean’s Honor List
San Diego State University

Whitney M. Young Memorial Future
Teacher Scholarship
San Diego Mesa College

Associated Students Academic
Achievement Scholarship
San Diego Mesa College

Allen L. Rogert Memorial
Mathematics Scholarship
San Diego Mesa College

2005 – 2007
College of Sciences Dean’s Honor List
San Diego Mesa College

2005 – 2006
Math Tutor of the Year Award
Math & Science Tutoring Center
San Diego Mesa College

Eagle Scout, Troop 261
St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church
Parkville, MO

Solar System Animation


The video models the motion and positon of the Sun—Earth—Moon System for two years. The solution to the Three-Body Equation (\(\vec{F}=m\cdot\vec{a}\)) for the Sun-Earth-Moon System was approximated using a fourth order Runge-Kutta Method of solving differential systems. Initial values were taken from Nasa's Earth data and Moon data fact sheets. Solutions were approximated and graphed using Matlab.


These videos (see the other two tabs) were part of a homework assignment and final project for a math class I took in college called Introduction to Numerical Differential Equations.

6 — Body System

This video shows the motion and positon of the five planets closest to the Sun: Mercury, Earth, Venus Mars and Jupiter. The simulation depicts approximately one earth year. Notice the rate at which the other planets orbit are in line with the planetary orbit data listed at Nasa's website. In order to contruct this animation, which was programmed using Matlab™, the N-Body Equation was approximated numerically, using the Runge-Kutta-Fehlberg method of solving differential systems.

5 — Body System

This video models the motion and positon of the four planets of our solar system farthest from the Sun: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The simulation depicts approximately one earth year.