The three winners of this year's Deborah and Frankin Tepper Haimo Awards — Andrew Liu, Olympia Nicodemi, and Tom Garrity — will be featured speakers at the Joint Mathematics Meeting, in Phoenix, Arizona. The national meetings will run from January 7-10. The three teaching award recipients will give their presentations on Friday, January 9, from 2:30-4:00 p.m. All attendees are welcome.
Andrew Chiang-Fung Liu (University of Alberta), a popular speaker in schools, has organized math fairs and directed summer math camps. As a teacher, he is known for his ability to make mathematics fun and for his uncanny sense for good problems. A devoted supporter of mathematics competitions, he has served as coach and leader for the Putnam and IMO teams, chaired the Problem Selection Committee of the IMO, and served as vice-president of the International Mathematics Tournament of the Towns. He has received two teaching awards from his own University of Alberta, two Canadian national teaching awards, a 3M Teaching Fellowship, and the David Hilbert International Award for promotion of mathematics learning from the World Federation of Mathematics Competitions. In Phoenix, he will share his ideas on teaching, problem solving, and interesting student solutions. His talk is tentatively titled A S.N.A.P. Math Fair.
Olympia Nicodemi (SUNY College at Geneseo) has been a role model among teachers. One of her colleagues says that for Olympia mentoring students is a way of life. Her excellent teaching is marked by her ability to provide extra help for struggling students, to encourage students whose mathematical abilities are budding, and to stimulate more advanced students to take on difficult challenges. She has directed many undergraduate research projects and honors theses and has been a guiding force in the “Research Weekend Experience” program at Geneseo. She has received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Award for significant contributions to her profession and community. Olympia has also been active with the MAA: she has been a Project NeXT mentor, and has served as faculty advisor to Geneseo's student MAA chapter for more than a decade. Her success has led to her current position as Student Chapter Coordinator for the Seaway Section.
Thomas Garrity (Williams College) is one of those teachers that students rarely forget: his approach to teaching ranges from teaching a class while hopping on one foot to teaching without saying a word. He is completely uninhibited. Approaching a key point, he has been known to raise his voice dramatically, and say “and now I am raising my voice dramatically to create an artificial sense of excitement as we reach the key point.” The result is that his students recall not just the antics but the subject matter. More importantly, he has been able to take math-phobic and math-talented students and turn them into mathematicians.
Tom's far-reaching mathematical interests make him an exceptional research advisor. He often has three thesis students working in three different areas, generally linked to his own research. He has been instrumental in the Williams “SMALL” summer REU which has produced more publications than any other in the country; he alone has advised 37 summer research students. Tom is also the author of All the Mathematics You Missed (But Need to Know for Graduate School), a successful book which was reviewed on MAA Online not too long ago. His talk at the Joint Meetings, entitled Functions of the World, is bound to be memorable.