The Teaching Award is bestowed on faculty who are widely recognized as successful teachers, have an influence in their teaching of mathematics beyond their own institutions and foster curiosity and excitement about mathematics in their students.
For the past 34 years, Dr. Karian has brought enthusiasm and scholarship into the classroom with the objective of educating students to become creative and independent thinkers. He routinely enjoys excellent student reviews and was cited as a principle reason for deepening young protégés mathematical activity. A raft of honors projects in the Doane Library at Denison are a tribute to his tireless efforts to guide students on the road to excellence. Zaven is a popular instructor because he so thoroughly engages his students in the classroom experience of solving interesting problems. Additionally, students comment on his genuine personal interest in their professional development; his commitment to students does not end at the classroom doorway.
Dr. Karian has been described by colleagues as a first rate scholar whose research directly impacts undergraduate education. He has published twenty-nine articles in refereed journals during his tenure at Denison. In addition to areas of research that include number theory, simulation, and statistics, he has investigated the impact of technological innovations on mathematical pedagogy. Moreover, ten papers have been published in the last few years several of which list Denison undergraduates as co-authors. He currently holds the Barney Chair of Mathematics in recognition of his outstanding teaching record.
In the summer of 1992 he organized and hosted a national conference on "The Use of Symbolic Computation in Undergraduate Mathematics." The proceedings of the conference were nationally distributed and Karian's efforts greatly influenced the role of symbolic computation in the curriculum on a national as well as an international level. The central objective in this approach it to develop courses and course materials through which the fundamental principles of mathematics can be taught in an active learning environment. An example of his prodigious efforts include writing over 140 computer program modules for statistics specifically tailored to supplement the popular software package MAPLE. These supplements were made available, free of charge, on the internet and now are distributed and used throughout the world.
Finally, Zaven has been exceptionally active in the MAA. He has served on the national Board of Governors for the organization as well as chaired a variety of committees, including the committee on Symbolic Computation.
Dr. Karian received his Ph.D. in 1971 from The Ohio State University in mathematics. He has been an active member of the Denison University faculty since 1964. Zaven and his wife, Susan, have traveled extensively around the world. Recent trips include Machu Piccu and the Galapagos Islands. Each year the Karians make the trip to Stratford, Ontario to enjoy the theater productions.