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The Mary P. Dolciani Award Winner Announced

Inaugural Mary P. Dolciani Award Presented at MAA MathFest 2012

August 6, 2012

William G. McCallum (University of Arizona) received the first Mary P. Dolciani Award during the MAA Prize Session on Friday, August 3, 2012, at the 2012 MAA MathFest in Madison, Wisconsin. Full citation and biographical information is available below. Award brochure (pdf).

Established in 2012, the Dolciani Award recognizes a research mathematician in pure or applied mathematics who is making a distinguished contribution to the mathematical education of K-16 students. This award is administered by the Mathematical Association of America on behalf of the Mary P. Dolciani Halloran Foundation.

Mary P. Dolciani Halloran (1923-1985) was a gifted mathematician, educator, and author. She received her Ph.D. in mathematics from Cornell University in 1947, and devoted her life to developing excellence in mathematics education through her own teaching, mentoring, and writing. A leading author in the field of mathematical textbooks at the college and secondary school levels, she published under her professional name Dr. Mary P. Dolciani. At a time when it was uncommon for women to enter the field of mathematics, Dr. Dolciani advanced and excelled.

MAA President Paul Zorn presents inaugural Mary P. Dolciani Award to William G. McCallum during the MAA MathFest Prize Session.


Professor William G. McCallum exemplifies the Mary P. Dolciani Award as a research mathematician who is making distinguished contributions to mathematical education across all levels from primary to secondary to college. McCallum’s Ph.D. from Harvard was followed by a year as a fellow at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute at Berkeley. He then joined the faculty at the University of Arizona, where he currently chairs the Department of Mathematics. For his contributions to mathematical education at the primary and secondary level, the Committee cites his work as one of three lead writers of the Common Core State Standards in mathematics. More than 40 states have agreed to these Standards and mathematicians read them with approval. McCallum writes a blog ’Tools for the Common Core Standardsâ? giving interesting references and reminders of his many presentations on the Standards.

Through his writing and speaking, McCallum has been a champion in getting university faculty to help in solving problems of mathematics education. To further productive collaboration between research mathematicians and mathematics educators, McCallum founded in 2006 the Institute for Mathematics and Education at the University of Arizona and remained its director until 2009; he continues as chair of the Institute’s Advisory Board. This Institute supports local, national, and international projects in mathematics education that focus on both the mathematics and the students. At the college level, he has been a forceful advocate for the calculus reform effort and is the lead author of the Harvard Calculus Consortium’s multivariable calculus book. McCallum is a voice to and for all stakeholders in mathematics education: students, teachers, college and university faculty.

Biographical Information

William G. McCallum is a University Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Head of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Arizona. Born in Sydney, Australia in 1956, he received his Ph.D. in 1984 under the supervision of Barry Mazur. After spending two years at the University of California, Berkeley, and one at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, he joined the faculty at the University of Arizona in 1987. In 1993-94 he spent a year at the Institut des Hautes Ã?tudes Scientifiques, and in 1995-96 he spent a year at the Institute for Advanced Study on a Centennial Fellowship from the American Mathematical Society. In 2005 he received the Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars from the National Science Foundation. In 2006 he founded the Institute for Mathematics and Education at the University of Arizona. He was Director of the Institute until 2009 and now chairs its advisory board. In 2009?2010 he was one of the lead writers for the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. His professional interests include arithmetical algebraic geometry and mathematics education. He has received grants and written articles, essays, and books in both areas.

2012 MAA Awards Presented at MAA MathFest