W. W. Rankin Award for Excellence in Mathematics Education

Citation---- Harold Reiter 2009

Madam President, our first recipient of the W. W. Rankin Award for Excellence in Mathematics Education has been a mathematics educator for many years. On behalf of the Rankin Award Committee, it gives me great pleasure to say a few words about this year's recipient of our most coveted award.

First and foremost, our awardee is regarded as an excellent teacher of mathematics. Our honoree is recognized as a scholar of mathematics and mathematics education, and a person whose service to NCCTM and mathematics education is exemplary. Our nominee is in the 41st year of teaching and has been at the same institution since 1972.

As a teacher at one of our state's finest universities, our recipient excels in the classroom. Our honoree's enthusiasm for mathematics is contagious and fashioned a career dedicated to creating avenues for others to share this love of mathematics, and mathematics teaching and learning. In fact, this year's candidate has been recognized as a ''Missionary for Mathematics.'' In 1988 our awardee was the recipient of the home university's Excellence in Teaching Award, and in 1997, our nominee was honored with the Distinguished College or University Teaching Award given by the Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America.

As an outstanding scholar, our recipient's breadth of expertise includes mathematics education, computer science, and spans all levels of mathematics--from grade school to graduate school. A prolific writer, our honoree has over 30 publications in referreed journals and over 30 reviews in mathematics and mathematics education publications. Our awardee has given many presentations and lectures to a wide variety of audiences on topics including convex sets, mathematics competitions, problem solving, teaching gifted fifth graders, rational behavior, game theory, hyperspace, face painting, and an odd end. The list of professional and honorary affiliations that mark this career include Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Pi Mu Epsilon, Sigma Xi, Mu Alpha Theta, MAA, NCTM, NCCTM, AMS, ACM, and the London Mathematical Society.

Our awardee has been recognized for outstanding service to the local region, to our state, and to the national and international mathematical communities for forty years. This year's recipient initiated mathematics clubs for elementary and secondary school students, established a high school mathematics contest, and chaired the NCCTM's Contest Committee. A fellow member of the committee states that our awardee was 'always front and center in every discussion, ready to volunteer at every opportunity to facilitate action.' The list of national and international accomplishments is most impressive and includes significant contributions to Educational Testing Services, MATHCOUNTS, the USA Olympiad, and the Paul Erdos Award of the World Federation of National Mathematics Competitions (WFNMC). Indeed, the North Carolina Council of Teachers of mathematics recognized our honoree's service to our profession through the conferring of the NCCTM Innovator Award.

In support of his nomination to the Rankin Award Committee, a high school teacher wrote ''Consider this a recommendation of the highest merit for a man who has given so much to so many for so long.''  The names of persons writing comments of support of his nomination form a distinguished list from our membership; but even more impressive is the record of outstanding mathematical involvement and accomplishment by a long list of ''young people'' who are former students, participants in his club activities, and others he has inspired and mentored along the way. The Rankin Award Committee agreed with a colleague of our honoree who insisted that the nominee merited the Rankin Award because of his long and dedicated career devoted to the betterment of mathematics education.

Madam President and members of the NCCTM, on behalf of the W. W. Rankin Memorial Award Committee, I am honored to present to you our first recipient of the W. W. Rankin Memorial Award for Excellence in Mathematics Education for 2009, from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Harold Reiter.