Devadoss wins teaching award from MAA

September 16, 2015 by Evan Wahl, Executive Editor

Professor Satyan Devadoss won the Haimo Award.

Professor Satyan Devadoss won the Haimo Award. Photo Courtesy of Satyan Devadoss.

Professor of Mathematics Satyan Devadoss was awarded the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. Devadoss will be the sixth professor from the College to be honored with the prestigious award, which is presented annually by the Mathematical Association of American (MAA).

“It is a testament to the freedom given to me, both by Williams and my department, to explore my interests and use my gifts,” Devadoss said. “I’m simply learning from the masters who went before me and, fortunately, a lot of those masters happen to be at Williams.”
“Satyan Devadoss is an amazing teacher,” said Frank Morgan, professor of mathematics and department chair. “He has created his own very visual style of teaching, drawing unforgettable pictures with his colorful words and celebrated images.”

In addition to the Haimo Award, Devadoss was also a 2007 recipient of the MAA Henry Alder National Teaching Award and a 2014 recipient of the MAA Northeastern Sectional Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching.
He is now only the third mathematics professor nationally to win both the Haimo and the Alder, the two highest undergraduate teaching awards bestowed by the MAA.
Previous winners of the award at the College include Professors of Mathematics Susan Loepp in 2012, Thomas Garrity in 2004, Edward Burger in 2001, Colin Adams in 1998 and Morgan in 1993.

The Haimo Award recognizes select college or university teachers who have been widely recog-nized as extraordinarily successful and whose teaching effectiveness has been shown to have an influence beyond their own institutions. Devadoss’s research often brings together art and mathematics and his work in geometry and visualization is nationally recognized.

He taught a 2009 Winter Study course in which students designed and created a wall tiling for the entrance to the department of mathematics and a 2015 tutorial course on origami where students created pop-up books at the Williams College Museum of Art using mathematical folding theorems.

“I always gravitate towards the physical and the visual,” Devadoss said.

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