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Alder Award Guidelines

Approved by the Alder Award Committee, the Council on Prizes and Awards, the Executive Committee, and the Board of Governors.

In January 2003 the MAA established the Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member to honor beginning college or university faculty whose teaching has been extraordinarily successful and whose effectiveness in teaching undergraduate mathematics is shown to have influence beyond their own classrooms. Each year at most three college or university teachers are to be honored with this national award and are to receive $1,000 and a certificate of recognition from the MAA. Award recipients will be expected to make a presentation at one of the national meetings of the MAA. Nominations for the award may be made by any member of the MAA or by any section of the MAA.

Amended January 3, 2012


Nominees must:

  • Hold the Ph.D. degree
  • Be college or university teachers who have held a full-time faculty appointment in a department of mathematical sciences in the United States or Canada for at least two, but not more than seven, years since receiving the Ph.D. A nominee who has just started the eighth year of teaching at the time of the application is still eligible for the award. If a nominee has held the PhD for more than 7 years then the nominator must indicate on the nomination form the times that the nominee was not teaching. Common exceptions to the 7-year limit are maternity, paternity, family, or medical leaves. Sabbaticals and postdoctoral fellowships are exceptions only if they involved no teaching and the application does not include accomplishments made during these times.
  • Hold membership in the Mathematical Association of America.


    Guidelines for Nominations

    Nominees for the award may be made by any individual or by any section of the MAA.

    Nominees should:

  • Be recognized as extraordinarily successful in their teaching
  • Have effectiveness in teaching undergraduate mathematics that can be documented
  • Have had influence in their teaching beyond their own classrooms


    Submission Information:

    James A. Sellers
    MAA Secretary
    Department of Mathematics
    Penn State University
    104 McAllister Building
    University Park, PA 16802

    Paper or email submissions are accepted; email preferred

    Interpretive notes

    Teaching is intended to include classroom instruction as well as activities outside the classroom, such as working with student groups, preparing students for mathematical competitions, directing undergraduate students in research in mathematics, directing students in the preparation of honors theses, preparing teaching materials used by others, etc.

    Nominations must be submitted according to the NOMINATION FORM. Instructions for that form should be followed precisely to assure uniformity in the selection process.

    The NOMINATION FORM and supporting documentation that provides evidence documenting extraordinary success in teaching should be submitted to the Secretary of the MAA by October 1 of the academic year in which the nomination is to be considered. Directions for the nomination packet should be followed with precision to assure uniformity in the selection process.