For Release Upon Receipt - February 19, 2010
Contact: Tom Testa, 617/353-2240, firstname.lastname@example.org
ROBERT DEVANEY AWARDED FIRST FELD FAMILY PROFESSORSHIP OF TEACHING EXCELLENCE AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY
(Boston) — Robert Devaney, professor of mathematics at Boston University, was awarded the first Feld Family Professorship of Teaching Excellence at the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) for his outstanding accomplishment in teaching, mentoring and scholarship.
Instituted in 2009, the professorship is one of three made possible through the $10 million Feld Family Foundation pledge, a key facet in BU’s multi-year development plan led by BU President Robert A. Brown and the Board of Trustees.
“It’s wonderful to have Bob Devaney as the inaugural holder of the Feld Family Professorship in the College of Arts & Sciences,” said Dr. Brown. “A truly gifted scholar and educator, he sets a very high standard for all future holders of this prestigious position.”
Renowned for his scholarship in the fields of chaos, fractals, and dynamical ssystems, as well as his pioneering use of technology in teaching, Professor Devaney has directed the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Dynamical Systems and Technology Project since 1989, which helps high school and college educators use technology to more effectively teach modern mathematics. He has written, cowritten, edited, or delivered more than 100 papers, 13 books, and 1,400-plus lectures, the last task carrying him to every continent but Antarctica. He also speaks at many high schools, helping teachers design curricula and trying to inspire in students his passion for math.
“For me, what is so important about this professorship is that it highlights the fact that there is no conflict between being a great scholar and a great teacher,” said Virginia Sapiro, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “Bob Devaney was chosen in the spirit of the professorship, which is to honor scholars who are great educators, people who teach. It provides critical support to help him continue his superb work.”
In 2002, Devaney was the first mathematician to win the NSF Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars, for contributions to enhancing undergraduate education. He was named teacher of the year by the Mathematical Association of America in 1995. In 2003, Devaney was a recipient of a Metcalf Award for Teaching Excellence, one of Boston University’s highest teaching honors.
On the Boston University faculty since 1980, Professor Devaney earlier taught at Northwestern University, Tufts University and the University of Maryland. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from The College of the Holy Cross and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Kenneth Feld, (SMG’70) Chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment and a BU trustee and chair of the Trustees’ Development & Alumni Committee, along with Bonnie Feld (CAS’73), a member of the CAS Leadership Advisory Board, and their daughters Nicole, Alana (COM’02), and Juliette, designated $7.5 million of the $10 million donation to endow three professorships, each in a school that educated a Feld family member. The others are in the School of Management and the College of Communication.
The Feld Family Foundation’s philanthropic efforts span higher education, the performing arts, and conservation of endangered Asian elephants.
Feld Entertainment is the world’s leading producer and presenter of live family entertainment. A privately owned and operated family company, Feld Entertainment is the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Feld Motor Sports, Disney On Ice, and Disney Live! With more than 5,000 performances annually and tours in more than 65 countries on six continents, the company’s shows are seen by more than 30 million people each year.
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized private research university with more than 30,000 students participating in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school's research and teaching mission.
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