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MAA Awards Prizes for Top Mathematics Writing

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Prizes for the year’s best mathematics writing were given on Aug. 3 in Denver by the Mathematical Association of America at MAA MathFest, the summer gathering of the Mathematical Association of America.

“We are proud of the Mathematical Association of America's long history of publishing superb mathematical exposition,” said Michael Pearson, executive director of the MAA. “These prize-winning authors serve to inform and inspire our community. We all benefit from clear and effective writing that brings important results to the broadest possible audience.”

Carl B. Allendoerfer Awards
Two mathematicians are recipients of the Carl B. Allendoerfer Awards, which is given to authors for excellent mathematical writing published in the Mathematics Magazine, a journal of the MAA.

The authors of “A New Perspective on Finding the Viewpoint” are recognized for their work: Fumiko Futamura, a mathematics professor at Southwestern University, and Robert Lehr, a graduate of Southwestern University.

Trevor Evans Award:
Each year an author is recognized for their excellent writing for an undergraduate audience, published in MAA’s magazine Math Horizons. This year’s recipient of the Trevor Evans Award is James Propp, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, for his article “The Paintball Party.”

The Paul R. Halmos-Lester R. Ford Award:
This award recognizes exceptional authors who have published in The American Mathematical Monthly, the MAA’s flagship journal. This year’s winners are:

  • Paul E. Becker of Penn State Behrend, Martin Derka of Car Media 2.0, Sheridan Houghten of Brock University, and Jennifer Ulrich of Penn State Behrend, “Build a Sporadic Group in Your Basement” 
  • Maria Deijfen of Stockholm University, Alexander E. Holroyd of University of Cambridge, and James B. Martin of St. Hugh’s College, University of Oxford, “Friendly Frogs, Stable Marriage, and the Magic of Invariance”
  • Francis E. Su of Harvey Mudd College, “Mathematics for Human Flourishing”
  • Michael Barnsley of Australian National University and Andrew Vince of University of Florida, “Self-Similar Polygonal Tiling”

George Pólya Awards:
This award recognizes the exceptional papers published in The College Mathematics Journal, a journal of the MAA. This year’s winners are:

  • Ben Blum-Smith of TED, and Samuel Coskey of Boise State University, “Fundamental Theorem on Symmetric Polynomials: History’s First Whiff of Galois Theory”
  • Stephen Kaczkowski of the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, “Mathematical Models for Global Mean Sea Level Rise”

About MAA
The Mathematical Association of America is the world’s largest community of mathematicians, students, and enthusiasts. We accelerate the understanding of our world through mathematics because mathematics drives society and shapes our lives. Learn more at

News Date: 
Friday, August 3, 2018