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Verne J. Varineau* -- 1999 -- Outstanding Former Faculty
Verne Variueau’s most widely recognized contribution to teaching is the book Retracing Elementary Mathematics, which he co-authored with the noted logician Leon Henkin and former UW Mathematics Department Head Norman Smith. But, that was hardly his only contribution to teaching or UW. Varineau came to Wyoming after earning his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in 1940. He left in 1942 to teach for the Navy and returned to UW in 1946. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Varineau was a visiting lecturer in Mathematics Association of America (MAA) and National Science Foundation (NSF) programs . From 1957 to 1971, he conducted summer institutes for high school teachers with NSF funding. In 1957, he attended a National Bureau of Standards semester-long seminar in numerical analysis that led to his securing NSF funding for UW’s first computer in 1960. He also served as UW’s first computer center director in that year. He was instrumental in initiating the Math Department’s Ph.D. program and the subsequent development of the graduate program. He was also known for conducting research for fun in an era when research wasn’t a requirement for tenure and promotion. Far from detracting from his teaching these activities contributed to Varineau’s excellence in the classroom, which was recognized by the Outstanding Faculty Award in 1962, the Standard Oil Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching in 1968 and the George Duke Humphrey Award in 1975. He retired in 1985 but continued teaching as an emeritus professor for a short time. Although he passed away in June 1997, the Varineau Award still contributes to the education of UW math students.
*In loving memory.