Mathematician Named Recipient Of Cherry Award

Jan. 16, 2003
News Photo 1039Colin Adams

Dr. Colin C. Adams, the Francis C. Oakley Professor of Mathematics at Williams College in Massachusetts, has been selected as the final recipient of Baylor University's Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teachers. He was chosen on the basis of his extraordinary teaching ability, record of positive, inspiring and long-lasting effects on students and his national and international achievements.

Adams will be honored on campus during the 2003 fall semester. He will receive a prize of $15,000 and will deliver a series of lectures in September.

An expert in low-dimensional topology, specifically knot theory, Adams received his bachelor's degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has held faculty positions at Oregon State University and the University of California, Davis and Santa Barbara. He joined the faculty of Williams College in 1985 and served as chair of the department of mathematics from 1997 to 2000.

Adams is the author or co-author of several books, including "The Knot Book," "How to Ace Calculus: the Streetwise Guide" and the forthcoming "Why Knot?" He also regularly lectures on knot theory at professional meetings and as a guest speaker at universities. He has received research grants from the National Science Foundation and is a past winner of the Mathematical Association of America Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo National Distinguished Teaching Award.

In nominating Dr. Adams for the award, a former student wrote, "Professor Adams' enthusiasm, encouragement and love for teaching have helped me to achieve more than I ever believed possible. As I continue my education as an astrophysicist, I now carry with me the belief that the most exciting and cutting edge science can and should be accessible at every level. Professor Adams is a mathematician at the top of his field, a truly dedicated learner and teacher and a personal inspiration."

The Robert Foster Cherry Award program will undergo significant changes with the 2004 award, including the elimination of the secondary award, the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teachers. The program will award a single prize, The Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching. It will be awarded every other year and will feature a prize of $200,000 for the winner as well as $25,000 for the winner's home department. During the off years, three finalists for the award will speak at Baylor and will receive $15,000 each, plus $10,000 to go to their home departments. The three finalists for the first award will be selected this spring.

For more information, contact Linda McGregor at 710-2923.

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