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Professor to receive inaugural mathematics award

  • Photo of Ted Sundstrom

Posted on January 09, 2017

The educational book "Mathematical Reasoning: Writing and Proof" has been adopted as a teaching tool by 47 universities in the U.S. and the current electronic version of the text has been downloaded more than 50,000 times.

This summer, the book's author, Ted Sundstrom, professor of mathematics, will receive the Mathematical Association of America's (MAA) newly created Daniel Solow Author's Award as recognition for his work.

The award recognizes the author, or authors, of undergraduate mathematics teaching materials, which can include textbooks, lecture notes, computer software, web-based learning materials and video lectures.

"I am feeling grateful for this very significant honor and especially grateful to my colleagues in the Department of Mathematics who have supported me in all of my endeavors at Grand Valley, and who have chosen to use the book for over 12 years for MTH 210 Communicating in Mathematics," said Sundstrom.

Sundstrom explained that "Mathematical Reasoning: Writing and Proof" is designed to be a text for the first course in a mathematics major program that introduces students to the processes of constructing and writing mathematical proofs with an emphasis on active learning.

After working with a publisher for the first two editions of the book, released in 2003 and 2006 respectively, Sundstrom chose an open educational resource approach to the third edition by making it freely available to download when it was released in 2013. The current electronic version of the book can be downloaded at Grand Valley via ScholarWorks@GVSU.

"I have complete control over the book by not working with a publisher, and a lot more contact with professors and students who use the book," said Sundstrom. "In addition, it is nice to know that I am helping students with the cost of their education in a small way."

Sundstrom will receive the award during MathFest, the annual summer meeting of the Mathematical Association of America, July 26-29 in Chicago.

Sundstrom is a longtime professor at Grand Valley, with a career spanning more than four decades. He began teaching at the university in 1973 after earning his doctoral degree from the University of Massachusetts. He will retire from Grand Valley in April.