News

May 10, 2010

Professor John Meier Receives Teaching Honor from Mathematical Association of America

James P. Crawford Award recognizes extraordinary success in teaching
John Meier, professor of mathematics, has been recognized for excellence in teaching by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). Meier is the 2010 recipient of the James P. Crawford Teaching Award, presented by the Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware area section of the MAA.

The award recognizes college and university professors who are extraordinarily successful in their teaching, foster curiosity and excitement about mathematics in their students, and whose teaching has influence beyond the recipient’s own institution. As a section winner, Meier is nominated for the MAA’s national Haimo Award. The first winner of the James P. Crawford Teaching Award was Elizabeth McMahon, professor of mathematics, in 2005.

In 2003, the Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware section renamed its distinguished teaching award in honor of the late Jim Crawford, who taught mathematics at Lafayette for 46 years. Meier and Crawford spent a number of years as colleagues and team-taught a course on the history of mathematics.

“He was the embodiment of a dedicated teacher, who was as student-focused as anyone I have ever met,” Meier says. “The fact that the section decided to name their teaching award after Jim made it particularly poignant.”

Meier has taught courses on calculus, differential equations, geometry, linear algebra, real analysis, and topology at Lafayette since 1992. He has served as faculty adviser to several students working on honors theses and independent studies. He also advises student research groups in the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates summer program hosted by Lafayette. Many of his students have presented research at national conferences and published in academic journals.

Meier received the 2003 Centennial Fellowship from the American Mathematical Society. The grant supported a yearlong research project at Columbia University and the University of California-Santa Barbara. He is also the recipient of Lafayette’s Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Award for superior teaching, Jones Faculty Lecture award, Mary Louise Van Artsdalen Prize for outstanding scholarly achievement, and Student Government Teaching Award.

Meier is co-author of Writing in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics, a book on the use of writing as a pedagogical tool in mathematics, published by MMA. He is the author of numerous publications in mathematics journals, as well as the book Groups, Graphs and Trees: An Introduction to the Geometry of Infinite Groups, published by Cambridge University Press in 2008.

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