The recipient of the 2012 Ohio Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics is Dr. Harold Putt from Ohio Northern University. The award was presented to Harold during the Spring Section Meeting on April 13, 2012. Harold received an M.A. in 1974 and his Ph.D. in 1977 in Mathematics from Bowling Green State University. He has been at ONU since 1983; during that time he has been appointed to the Mary Reichelderfer Chair for Excellence in Teaching three times. Harold's attention to students does not end at the classroom door nor his office door, as he has also served as the advisor to the student MAA chapter at ONU since 1998. In addition, Harold has been active in mathematics education at the local, non-university level, helping the Ada Middle School become active in the MATHCOUNTS competition.
Harold has been very active in the Ohio MAA. He has been a member of CONCUR, CONTEAL, CONSACT, and a member of the program committee, the teaching award committee, and the nominating committee. During 2002-2003, Harold served as President of the Ohio Section. He has also been involved with the broader mathematics community in the state of Ohio by way of his service as an Ohio Board of Regents Mathematics Teaching Fellow from 2002-2006.
A former student of Harold‘s, now in graduate school, wrote the following in support of the his nomination: "As an excellent instructor, and even better mentor, Dr. Putt embodies all of the qualities of an outstanding professor of mathematics ...". He went on to say “As a future university professor, I may not remember every bit of mathematics that Dr. Putt taught me, but I will always aspire to be as effective an instructor and as sincere and helpful a person.” Harold has served ONU in many different ways over the years. A colleague who served for many years as the chair of ONU’s chemistry department, then later many more years as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences recalled “I dealt with hundreds of chemistry students over the years who required at least two years of mathematics as part of their major program. From that vantage point I became keenly aware of the great skill and special care which Dr. Putt demonstrated in the mathematical portions of their programs. I was especially pleased with his ability to work with the students who had difficulty, and his insight in bringing them up to the standards necessary for the mathematics preparation needed in their chemistry courses. When I became dean, Dr. Putt’s outstanding work with student instruction and advising made him my first choice to fill an assistant dean position.”
Harold’s outstanding work with students and his dedication to the profession of mathematics teaching make him a most worthy recipient of the Ohio Section Distinguished Teaching Award.