Mathematics Professor Satyan Devadoss Receives Teaching Award

Media contact:  Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., July 28, 2014—Williams College Professor of Mathematics Satyan Devadoss has received the 2014 Northeastern Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics, bestowed by the Mathematical Association of America.

Devadoss specializes in algebraic and combinatorial structures in topology and geometry, and he’s particularly interested in computational geometric ideas such as cartography and origami and the visualization of information. He returns to campus this fall after a year spent as a visiting professor at Stanford University.

Devadoss, who has taught at Williams for 13 years, gives much credit for his being honored to the professors who have served as role models to him. “My road to this award has been well-paved, being surrounded by a department of remarkable, brilliant teachers who have demonstrated this to me on a daily basis,” he says. At Williams, Devadoss says, the wall between teaching and research does not exist. His classes are natural extensions of his research. His students join him in exploring mathematics, which in turn leads him to new ideas for his work.

He will receive the award and give a talk at the NES/MAA fall meeting, to be held in November at Southern Connecticut State University. Recipients of the award are automatically nominated for the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award, the MAA’s national award for distinguished teaching. Professor Frank Morgan says of Devadoss, “[He] has his own very visual style of teaching that often combines striking images and artwork with mathematics. His students find his courses difficult and electrifying.”

Devadoss received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the Johns Hopkins University and his B.S. from North Central College. He was an inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society and has been honored with numerous awards for his teaching and research, including the MAA’s Henry L. Adler National Teaching Award for young faculty and Williams’ Nelson Bushnell Prize.

Four Williams professors have been honored with the MAA Northeastern Section Award in previous years, most recently Susan Loepp in 2010.

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Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.

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