The recipient of the 2013 Ohio Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics is Dr. Lewis Ludwig from Denison University, where he has been since 2002. Lew’s commitment to teaching, to the Ohio Section, and to the National MAA makes him a clear choice for the award. The assistant chair of his department described the winner as a “master teacher” and former students commented that Lew is “an excellent mentor, an exceptional teacher of mathematics and he is always looking for ways to more effectively engage students, both those who love math and those who don’t.”
A former student praised Dr. Ludwig’s mentorship skills, saying “Through his guidance, I was able to present my thesis work at two national conferences and win cash awards for my presentation in both cases. That confidence in communicating (and not just mathematics) has stayed with me into graduate school and carried over into my own teaching.” A current student comments “From the very first time a student sits down in a class run by Dr. Ludwig, they can sense that it will be unlike other math classrooms they have been in before” and that he “puts the responsibility on his students to gain a sense of academic curiosity and a passion to come to class to learn how to do the problems they are asked to try on their own the night before.” Lew’s teaching mentor stated “I also discovered quickly that I could learn a lot of new teaching techniques from Lew” and that he “firmly believes in providing an atmosphere in which students can take charge of their education.”
In addition to excellence in the classroom, Professor Ludwig has supervised ten undergraduate research projects, three of which have led to publications in peer-reviewed journals. One of these articles received the Pi Mu Epsilon Amanda award for best student article. Overall, Lew’s students have won twelve awards at national conferences for their presentations.
As a member of the Ohio Section, Lew has been a member of CONSACT, the program committee, and has handled the local arrangements for an annual Section meeting at Denison University. He has also given several contributed talks at Section meetings on pedagogy and undergraduate research. Lew has been involved at the national level through invited talks, workshops, and panel discussions, discussing ways to improve students’ presentation skills. He is known nationally for a series of vignettes depicting the do’s and don’ts of math talks. His DVD, “Technically Speaking” has been distributed to nearly 500 mathematics departments.