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Mathematics Professor Bryan Shader Receives UW's Duke Humphrey Award

April 30, 2009
Man with math equation
UW Mathematics Professor Bryan Shader

The accolades he receives from outside the University of Wyoming are ample testimony to the high esteem in which Professor Bryan L. Shader is held in the mathematics community.

People at and outside of UW tout the accomplishments of Shader, professor and head of the UW Department of Mathematics, who is this year's recipient of the George Duke Humphrey Distinguished Faculty Award. Named for UW's 13th president, who served from 1945 to 1964, the award recognizes teaching effectiveness, distinction in scholarly work and distinguished service to the university and state.

Michael Neumann, the mathematics department head at the University of Connecticut, has known Shader for 17 years. He says Shader's accomplishments are known throughout the profession.

"Bryan has become one of the world's top researchers in combinatorial matrix theory. Despite his success, Bryan has retained a genuine sense of modesty, and a willingness to help even though he has a very busy schedule of teaching, research and service," says Neumann. "The latter is especially significant as concurrent with all his other non-service activities, he heads a department. Despite his demanding schedule, Bryan always seeks to encourage and promote others in his field."

Jerry Hamann, head of the UW Department of Computer Science, has known Shader since their paths crossed more than 30 years ago as undergraduate students.

"We've acknowledged often to one another just how much impact our early teachers had upon our pursuits of careers in academia," says Hamann. "I know that Bryan carries that knowledge with him each time he enters the classroom each time he has the opportunity to interact with students. He values each chance to return the favor bestowed upon us by so many humble, yet so distinguished faulty, here at UW. Bryan has become a model professor, truly to so many, including me. Our students and our state benefit each and every day from his efforts."

Professors aren't the only ones who praise Shader as a quality instructor. Students in his mathematics courses also appreciate his experience and knowledge.

"Not only does he teach the material in a way that makes sense and is understandable, but he makes it exciting as well," writes a math student. "His courses are always very challenging because students must apply themselves, to go beyond the examples from class to show we have learned the main concepts and didn't just memorize equations."

Another student writes that Shader's style inspires students to be better.

"This is a class in which I have definitely had to work very hard to get A's, but I have also learned a great deal," the student notes. "Dr. Shader is a professor who makes things challenging and also knows how to interest students and make things fun. He's the sort of teacher I would like to be."

Shader received his B.S. (1984) degree from UW and both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin.


Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2009

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