Springfield, Ohio - Recognition from one's peers is perhaps the greatest honor any professional can receive. Al Stickney, professor of mathematics at Wittenberg University, recently received just such an honor from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).
Stickney, a resident of Springfield and a member of the Wittenberg University faculty since 1979, has been named the winner of the 2001 Ohio Section Award for Distinguished College or University Mathematics Teaching. The honor is bestowed each year upon an active member of the Ohio Section who is "a teacher whose students credit him for their love of mathematics and its teaching, (and) who is a pioneer in the use of technology to enhance the teaching of mathematics and a mentor whose caring and support is vividly remembered by his former students," according to the association's citation. The association's citation also notes that Stickney "possesses a talent for seeking out and encouraging students who seem to enjoy mathematics but are unsure of their commitment to it because they may not excel at it."
An instructor of courses in numerical analysis, matrix algebra, linear algebra, mathematical modeling, abstract algebra and foundations of geometry, Stickney has taught a wide range of students in his 25-year career, including high school students, undergraduates, secondary school teachers and college faculty. His primary research interest is the use of technology in the teaching of mathematics, and he has published computer-based instructional modules in precalculus and calculus and papers on the use of graphing calculators. He also was a contributing author of the three-volume "Calculus Exam File" series and the "Linear Algebra Exam File."
Stickney, who earned his undergraduate degree at Michigan State University and his graduate and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan, is credited with establishing a charter chapter of the MAA at Wittenberg in 1988, and he remains an adviser. His undergraduate students have organized outreach contests with high school students, sponsored department colloquia, participated in the Putnam competition and presented papers at the Ohio Section meetings. He has served on several statewide committees of the MAA, including a term as president of the Ohio Section.