North Central College alumnus Satyan Devadoss earns mathematics teaching award

Aug 05, 2014

Satyan Devadoss, Ph.D., who earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics at North Central College in 1993, has earned the Mathematical Association of America’s (MAA) 2014 Northeastern Section Award (NES) for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics.

Devadoss teaches mathematics at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. He specializes in algebraic and combinatorial structures in topology and geometry and is particularly interested in computational geometric ideas, such as cartography and origami and the visualization of information.

He was keynote speaker at North Central College’s 2014 Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research. In 2008, he received North Central’s Alumni Recognition Award.

Devadoss has taught at Williams for 13 years and returns to Williamstown this fall after spending the past academic year as a visiting professor at Stanford University.

He will receive the award and give a talk at the NES/MAA fall meeting, to be held in November at Southern Connecticut State University. Recipients of the award are automatically nominated for the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award, the MAA’s national award for distinguished teaching.

After graduating summa cum laude and as valedictorian from North Central College, Devadoss went on to earn his doctorate in mathematics in 1999 from Johns Hopkins University where he was awarded the University’s William Kelso Morrill Award for Excellence in Teaching. He was an inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society and has been honored with numerous awards for his teaching and research, including Williams College’s Nelson Bushnell Prize.

His research has ranged from particle collisions and polyhedra in mathematics to origami design and cartography in computer science, to manufacturing and modeling in studio art. He was a Ross Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University and has received two National Science Foundation grants during his career.

In 2007, Devadossn was awarded the Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by the MAA, which honors a college or university faculty member whose teaching has been extraordinarily successful and whose effectiveness in teaching undergraduate mathematics has proven influential beyond the classroom.