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Andrews Selected as Finalist for Cherry Award

19 May 2008
George E. Andrews.

George E. Andrews, Evan Pugh Professor of Mathematics at Penn State, has been named as one of three finalists for Baylor University's 2008 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, which is the single largest award given to an individual for exceptional teaching. According to Baylor University, “The Cherry Award program is designed to honor great teachers, to stimulate discussion in the academy about the value of teaching, and to encourage departments and institutions to value their own great teachers.” As a finalist, Andrews will receive $15,000 and the Penn State math department will receive $10,000 to foster the development of teaching skills. Andrews will present a series of lectures at Baylor during the fall and a Cherry Award Lecture at Penn State.

Andrews’s research centers on number theory and on the theory of partitions and their applications to statistical mechanics and computer science. He is an authority on the work of Srinivasa Ramanujan, the Indian mathematician of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, who is considered to be one of the greatest mathematical geniuses of all time. Andrews is collaborating on a multi-volume study of Ramanujan’s lost notebook, which Andrews discovered in the Trinity College Library at Cambridge in 1976. The first volume of this study was published in June 2005.

A member of the Penn State faculty since 1964, Andrews was named Evan Pugh Professor of Mathematics in 1981. He served as chair of the department from 1980 to 1982 and from 1995 to 1997, and he is currently the department’s associate chair for faculty development. During his tenure at Penn State, Andrews has served as thesis advisor for 18 doctoral and 13 master’s degree recipients and he currently advises four doctoral students.

Andrews earned his doctorate in mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania in 1964, and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Oregon State University in 1960.

In addition to being named a finalist for Baylor University's 2008 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, Andrews has received many honors and awards, including the Allegheny Region Distinguished Teaching Award from the Mathematical Association of America and the Centennial Award from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, which he received "in recognition of contributions to pure mathematics and...mathematical education.” Andrews has been awarded honorary degrees by the University of Waterloo in Canada, the University of Florida, and the University of Parma in Italy. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2003 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1997. He also has been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship and a Fulbright scholarship.

The Award for Great Teaching was created by Robert Foster Cherry, who earned his A.B. from Baylor in 1929. With a deep appreciation for how his life had been changed by significant teachers, he made an estate bequest to recognize excellent teachers and bring them in contact with Baylor University students. The first Robert Foster Cherry Award was made in 1991 and has since been awarded biennially.