Michael Gage, professor of mathematics at the University of Rochester, has been awarded this year's regional teaching award from the Mathematical Association of America. The award honors Gage's "history of imaginative and enthusiastic teaching."
The association was impressed with Gage's innovative use of computers as a learning tool. Along with Professor of Mathematics Arnold Pizer, Gage developed WeBWork, a program for doing homework on the World Wide Web.
"Gage has pioneered the use of the Web as a means of spreading information about the mathematics department, as a way of advising students, and as a link between faculty and students," Mathematics Department Chair Douglas Ravenel says.
Gage and Ravenel head the department's Meliora Mathematica committee, charged with revitalizing the teaching of undergraduate mathematics at Rochester. This committee has introduced experimental calculus courses in which students work in supervised teams on problems that are much less routine than the problems often assigned freshman calculus students.
"One of the things I've found impressive about Professor Gage is the degree of patience and interest he shows when explaining things," one former student told the MAA. "Whether it's chatting with him over lunch or bugging him when he's running to teach a class, I always get the impression that he'll drop everything to devote the time and energy necessary to answer a question."
Gage is a graduate of Antioch College and Stanford University. He has been on the Rochester faculty since 1984.