2017 Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics
Aaron Montgomery, Central Washington University

I am pleased to announce that Aaron Montgomery is this year’s recipient of the PNW-MAA’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Aaron has been teaching at Central Washington University for nearly 17 years and during that time has demonstrated over and over again his commitment to teaching and student learning. A former student of Aaron’s recently wrote: “The [Mathematics] department was represented by a wealth of talent and Aaron certainly stood out as one of the best with respect to his devotion to teaching and exploring ways to support students.” In addition to teaching mathematics courses, Aaron has also taught several courses in Computer Science as well as a variety of courses for the Douglas Honors College (DHC), including “Games and Politics” which combines materials in philosophy, psychology, economics, and political science with game theory. In 2011 the director of the DHC wrote: “The [DHC curriculum] committee was impressed by the interdisciplinary nature of the courses and Aaron’s pedagogical strategies … Aaron’s courses employ quantitative and experimental techniques to understand social groups and institutions.”

In addition to his outstanding teaching on CWU”s campus, Aaron has made meaningful contributions to the improvement of undergraduate mathematics education across the country – most notably on two projects: Quantway II and a STEM-Prep Pathway titled “Reasoning with Functions”. Quantway II is a college level quantitative reasoning course designed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Aaron was a member of the authoring team for this innovative curriculum. His leadership position with SIGMAA-QL together with scholarly contributions in this area allowed him to write engaging curriculum for this project. The Quantway II project has been very well received and is being taught in over 15 institutions across the country. Additionally, in 2015 Aaron served as an author for the Reasoning with Functions curriculum, a project that is led by the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Again, Aaron was a member of the authoring team which created curricular materials for this year-long sequence of courses. Aaron was one of the more prolific authors and was responsible for writing 27 lessons.

Aaron’s influence beyond his own institution is also evidenced by his participation in the writing of a Quantitative Literacy (QL) assessment instrument. Aaron was Co- PI on an NSF funded project to develop a valid and reliable tool to assess undergraduate students’ quantitative reasoning abilities. The instrument developed is now being used at over 100 institutions of higher education across the US.

Aaron Montgomery has shown extraordinary success as a teacher. He has fostered curiosity and excitement in his students and is widely recognized as an outstanding teacher here at CWU. Great teachers can be measured by the impact they have in the classroom, across their university’s campus, and within their profession. Aaron is such a teacher and it is great to see him recognized with this year’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

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