Teresa Edwards attended public schools in Nashville, Tennessee graduating from Hillwood High School after transferring from Pearl High School as a senior in the first year of federally court ordered busing. She attended Spelman College, graduating magna cum Laude with a major in mathematics. Following graduation from college, she attended Cornell University for one year and then transferred to the Georgia Institute of Technology. She earned the MS degree in Operations Research in 1979 from Georgia Tech. She continued her studies at Georgia Tech working towards her doctoral degree until 1981 when she entered the work force.
Following her tenth year class reunion at Spelman College, she joined the faculty of her alma mater to pursue her earlier dream of becoming a college professor. To help insure her place on the faculty, she re-entered the Georgia Institute of Technology in the summer of 1987. Her studies culminated in 1990 with a Ph.D. degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering (Non-linear Optimization) and with a dissertation entitled "A Box Method for Minimizing Strictly Convex Quadratic Functions over Convex Sets."
Her research interests include nonlinear optimization, communication networks, and environmental science. She has investigated balancing loads on SONET Rings with a GTE colleague, and recently she worked with NASA and other atmospheric scientists on the 1997 Indonesia forest fires and presented her findings at an international meeting in Singapore in April 1998. She also supervises students on undergraduate research projects, with resulting competition awards and publications.
Her professional activities have included organizing and hosting MATHFest 93, A Conference for Undergraduates in Mathematics; hosting the 1997 MAA SE Section Meeting and a Project Kaleidoscope Faculty 21 Meeting; reviewing EPA, NSF, and NASA proposals; serving as the mathematics professor of fifty eighth grade minority students for the Summer Enrichment Program at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA in the summer of 1994; and providing advice for an exhibit, "The World We Create," at the Louisville Science Center in Louisville, KY. She has worked with several professional organizations including the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) - Executive Board (1997-2000), Mathematical Association of America (MAA) - Committee on Consultants - Chair (1999-2002), National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) - Albert Turner Bharucha Lecture 1997, INFORMS, and AAAS.
She attends professional conferences and workshops where she continues to learn and share her knowledge in the mathematical sciences, including a workshop, "Calculus, Concepts, Computers & Cooperative Learning," held at Purdue University during July 1992, and MAA short courses: "Topics in Discrete Mathematics," San Antonio, TX in January 1993, and "Implementing Calculus as Formal Laboratory Courses Using Mathematica," Kennesaw, GA in April 1992.
Her honors and awards include being a NASA Administrator's Fellow (1997-99), a Spelman College Center for Scientific Applications of Mathematics Faculty Fellow (1994-95), a New York University Scholar- in-Residence (1992), a Bell Laboratories CRFP Fellow (1976-81), and a NASA Aerospace Fellow (1974-76). She also received the Most Outstanding Dissertation Award in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech (1990). One of her most both challenging and rewarding experiences has been serving as chairperson of the Mathematics Department of Spelman College. She is grateful to have supportive faculty members and college administrators.
As a teacher, Dr. Edwards stresses to her students that they should always pursue their dreams.