1978 Metcalf Cup & Prize
Dennis D. Berkey, CLA
Since joining the faculty in 1974, Professor Dennis Berkey has made unusually significant contributions to the lives of Boston University students. Teaching mathematics and statistics at all levels, Professor Berkey has a gift for expressing extremely complicated ideas lucidly and coherently. He is equally meticulous in his own preparation and in his evaluation of his students’ work. His classroom presentations are done with skill, taste and imagination. He demands hard work and high standards, yet is sought out as a teacher not only by mathematics majors and graduate students, but also by students in engineering and premedical programs, as well as by colleagues seeking mathematical illumination of problems in their own fields. As an advisor, Professor Berkey extends himself beyond the usual curricular guidance to raise students’ aspirations and to help them shape their larger goals. He helped found and is now the advisor to the Undergraduate Math Association. Colleagues wonder at his detailed knowledge of and insight into his students and advisees. But for Professor Berkey teaching is not a duty confined to the classroom and the office. It is a way of life. Under the faculty-in-residence program his home is in Claflin Dormitory. There his example of the intellectual life has exerted a profoundly civilizing influence. His tutoring in mathematics has rendered the subject not only accessible, but enjoyable to many who had previously found it arcane and forbidding. His patience and rare ability to listen make him invaluable to all. As a teacher in class and out, of students and faculty, Dennis Berkey has exhibited a depth of commitment that is its own reward, but that Boston University wishes to recognize through its most prestigious teaching award.