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Intellect

BYU's Michael Dorff wins top mathematics teaching award

  • Only three math teaching professors in the country receive the award each year
  • Dorff is the first from Utah to ever receive the award
  • He speaks at the MAA meetings in San Francisco on January 14

Michael Dorff, a professor in the Department of Mathematics at Brigham Young University, will receive a prestigious teaching award January 14 at the meetings of the Mathematical Association of America held in San Francisco.

The Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award is given to only three college and university professors each year for distinguished teaching of mathematics. According to an MAA release, recipients’ excellence in teaching begins in but is not limited to the classroom.

The MAA cited Dorff’s “most impressive accomplishment” as his work providing research opportunities for undergraduates. He has led a program for a number of years that has brought undergraduate students from across the country to BYU to participate in mathematical research they would otherwise be unable to perform at their respective institutions.

"The Haimo Award is like the Hall of Fame for math teachers," said Tyler Jarvis, chair of the math department."This award reflects very well on BYU and the Department of Mathematics. We are lucky to have faculty like Dr. Dorff here. He has had a profound, positive effect on the lives of many students and faculty, both at BYU and elsewhere."

Dorff has made many contributions to the teaching and learning of his mathematics students at BYU and has schooled students outside of the traditional classroom. He has also organized seminars for math majors, minors and prospective majors about career opportunities. The department has reported a 22 percent increase in the number of mathematics majors since Dorff began these seminars.

He also founded the Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics, which brings 15 faculty members from various universities to Provo. Dorff teaches his peers how to mentor undergraduates in mathematical research on their own campuses.

One faculty member who attended a CURM workshop received a mini-grant from Dorff’s group that allowed her to start an undergraduate research group at her school, which has benefited her students immensely. “Michael Dorff has touched the lives of 50 students at my institution and will touch the lives of hundreds more,” she said.

For more information, contact Michael Dorff at (801) 422-1752 or visit www.maa.org.

MichaelDorff.jpg
Photo by Mark A. Philbrick/BYU Photo

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