Newswise — It’s not enough to teach mathematics. To win the Mathematical Association of America’s Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics, you must be extraordinarily successful at teaching mathematics. You must be so effective that your influence extends beyond your institution.
Named for former MAA president Deborah Tepper Haimo and presented annually since 1993, the Haimo Award went to three recipients in 2014: Carl Lee (University of Kentucky), Gavin LaRose (University of Michigan), and Andrew Bennett (Kansas State University).
In his 33 years at the University of Kentucky, Carl Lee has worked with and inspired undergraduates and Ph.D. candidates, math majors and general education students. He has enlivened impeccable lectures with insights gleaned from his own research in polyhedra and supervised the dissertations of 13 budding mathematicians charting paths of their own. Lee has also devoted much time and energy to developing, teaching, and disseminating courses for prospective teachers of middle school mathematics. He has contributed to several large, multi-institution funded projects that have enhanced the teaching and learning of mathematics across the Appalachian region.
Like Lee, Gavin LaRose imparts his love of mathematics to students across disciplines. LaRose’s colleagues point out, however, that he positively impacts most University of Michigan undergraduates—whether he has personally taught them or not—through his work with instructional technology. LaRose developed and maintains the online mathematics placement exam incoming students take, for instance, and continually updates and improves online assessment tools and review modules used throughout his department. LaRose not only participates in the University of Michigan’s extensive training and mentoring program for new faculty, but has served on the MAA’s Project NExT leadership team in various capacities, most recently as associate director.
The third 2014 recipient of the Haimo Award, Andrew Bennett, is also an advocate of using technology to further mathematics education. Having introduced computer lab components into differential equations courses back in the 1980s, Bennett has more recently developed online homework systems for a variety of mathematics courses and organized conferences, sessions, and panel discussions about the use of technology as a teaching tool. Founder and director of the Center for Quantitative Education at Kansas State, Bennett uses data mining techniques to study how students interact with online homework systems. He has also led outreach efforts aimed at improving K-12 education in mathematics.
Lee, LaRose, and Bennett received their awards at the Joint Prize Session at the 2014 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore, Maryland. The prize booklet is available here.
The Mathematical Association of America is the largest professional society that focuses on mathematics accessible at the undergraduate level. Formed in 1915, the association members include university, college, and high school teachers; graduate and undergraduate students; pure and applied mathematicians; computer scientists; statisticians; and many others in academia, government, business, and industry who are interested in the mathematical sciences.