Ashland University Professor Receives Mathematics Teaching Award

Ashland University Professor Receives Mathematics Teaching Award

4/8/14 ASHLAND, Ohio – Dr. Christopher Swanson, professor of mathematics at Ashland University, has received the 2014 Ohio Section Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics from the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America. Swanson received the award at the Ohio Section of the Mathematical Association of America spring meeting held April 4-5 at the University of Toledo.

“I am quite honored to have been selected for this award,” Swanson said. “There are certain professional recognitions that mathematics faculty receive that I consider to be truly prestigious in that very few faculty receive them in their entire careers. I feel like I have just received one of these recognitions.”

The Ohio Section of the MAA recognized Swanson for his many contributions to both his students and Ashland University, and his own mathematical achievements. Apart from the many students he has influenced in class since joining the Ashland University faculty in 1999, Swanson serves as director of the Honors Program at AU.

Swanson also is the developer of Ashland University's actuarial science major, founder of Ashland University's Ohio Rho chapter of the national mathematics honorary Pi Mu Epsilon, adviser to Ashland University's team for the national William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition and organizer of the Ashland University’s Problem of the Month competition.

In her letter of recommendation to the MAA, AU alumna Anna Payne said it is obvious to her that Dr. Swanson truly cares for all of his students and is devoted to helping them learn and grow, both inside and outside of the classroom.

“His leadership has inspired me to become a leader myself, and to continue on in mathematics by attending graduate school this year,” she wrote. “Through his willingness to drop everything in his busy schedule to help anyone in need, it is clear to me that Dr. Swanson is much more than a typical college professor. He is easily one of the hardest-working people I have ever known and it has been a pleasure working with him.”

Garrett Tresch, a junior actuarial science major from Medina, agreed with this in his recommendation letter. “I have never seen a man more willing to make time in his schedule to work with a student,” he wrote. “It was this personal connection to intellectualism that led me to Ashland University, the Honors Program, and the Actuary Science major.”

While one math faculty member from the Ohio Section receives this award each year, Swanson is the first AU faculty member selected since Dr. Tom Dence, professor of mathematics, received the award in 2003.

Swanson received his doctor of philosophy in mathematics from the University of Michigan, his master of science in mathematics from the University of Michigan and bachelor of science in mathematics from Denison University. His research interests are combinatorics, probability and number theory.

Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###