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Indiana Section of the Mathematical Association of America
Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics

Citation to

Charles Livingston

The Indiana Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of Section members who have been identified as extraordinary teachers in the mathematical sciences and whose teaching effectiveness has been shown to have had influence beyond their own institutions.

This year’s recipient has a record of distinguished teaching and scholarship enriching the education at all levels of college mathematics and strengthening the profession of collegiate teaching. He is, above all, a conscientious, inspiring, and reflective teacher, who challenges his students to do their best.

During his 32 years at Indiana University he has taught 40 different courses, from courses aimed at future primary and secondary school math teachers, to honors courses aimed at the brightest IU undergraduate mathematics students, to being an advisor to six Ph.D. students. Furthermore, he has developed much diverse coursework, from a statistics course for journalists, in concert with Paul Voakes, a professor in the journalism school, to a summer course on knot theory at Louisiana State University for secondary math teachers seeking further accreditation.

According to his department’s colleagues, “he is a popular yet demanding teacher who continually finds new approaches to teaching.” His students praise his patience, an extreme generosity with his time, and an infectious enthusiasm for the subject. He knows how to “boost students’ confidence at the right time” and to make them feel equal, despite being an internationally known and respected mathematical researcher in the field of knot theory. His department’s Chair, Kevin Zumbrun, emphasizes that his “teaching evaluations are among the highest in the department,” despite, or perhaps because he is “known as a demanding instructor with high expectations, and a strict grading scale.”
 
He was awarded the IU Mathematics Department's highest teaching award, the Rothrock teaching award, in 1993. In addition, he was awarded the Trustees' Teaching Award in 2001 and 2012. This award was instituted by the trustees of Indiana University to recognize and enhance excellent teaching at Indiana University, especially at the undergraduate level. In 2004 he was a recipient of a Lester Ford Award by Mathematical Association of America, the award established to recognize authors of articles of expository excellence published in The American Mathematical Monthly.

This year’s Indiana Section of the Mathematical Association of America Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics goes to Charles Livingston, of Indiana University.

Vesna Kilibarda, Chair, Nominating Committee for Distinguished Teaching Award
Mel Royer, Section Chair,
Indiana Section of the MAA
March 23rd, 2013

Citation in PDF format: PDF

 

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