Captain L.P. & Barbara Smith Awards for Teaching Excellence

Great teaching is a core value for the Mathematics Department and we make it a point to recognize graduate students who demonstrate outstanding teaching skill.

These teaching awards are made possible by a generous donation from Captain L. P. Smith and Barbara Smith, who established a fund in 1981 for this purpose. Captain Smith had been Supervisor of First-year Instruction in the Mathematics Department from 1973 until his retirement in 1982. The Smiths' goal was to reward those graduate students who work hard to become fine teachers.

L.P. Smith Instructional Fellowship

Graduate students with established records of teaching success are invited to propose innovative mathematics courses, at any level.  Those selected will design and create the course, and will be funded by the L.P. Smith Fund for a semester to teach the course to Duke students.

Courses are selected for this fellowship based on the value the course will bring to our department offerings, and the strength of the teaching record of the instructor. 

Applications are invited by announcement.  Materials to be submitted with the application are those required for the Bass Instructional Fellowship (with the exception that we require only one letter of recommendation, not from the DGS). 

L.P. Smith Award for Teaching Excellence

Description of the Award

The award is presented annually to one or two (or rarely more) graduate students who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to teaching and whose teaching has reached a consistent level of excellence. This award carries with it both the recognition by the Mathematics Department of the graduate student's fine teaching and also a substantial monetary prize.

Winners of the Award

The following is a complete list of the winners of the award. The recipients are listed by academic year, with the most recent winners listed first.

2019-2020 Omar Melikechi and Ruby Kim
2018-2019 Erika Ordog, Eric Hopper, and Jeff LaComb
2017-2018 Michael Bell, Weifan Liu, and Erin Beckman
2016-2017 Chester Lian and Michael Bell
2015-2016 Ashleigh Thomas and Chester Lian
2014-2015 Brian Fitzpatrick and Caitlin Leverson
2013-2014 Phillip Andreae and Andrew Goetz
2012-2013 Brian Fitzpatrick and Sean Lawley
2011-2012 Christopher O'Neill and Esteban Chavez
2010-2011 Sarah Schott and Michael Pruitt
2009-2010 Alan Parry and Sarah Schott
2008-2009 Tiffany Kolba and Jeff Jauregui
2007-2008 Rann Bar-On
2006-2007 Paul Bendich
2005-2006 Michael Nicholas and Joseph Spivey
2004-2005 Thomas Laurent, Bill LeFew, Dan Yasaki, and Wenjun Ying
2003-2004 Dave Anderson, John Cain, and Tim Lucas
2002-2003 Christian Benes, Michael Kozdron, and Chris Hale
2000-2001 Christian Benes, Michael Kozdron, and Ted Welsh
1999-2000 Ted Welsh
1998-1999 Laura Taalman
1997-1998 Laura Taalman
1996-1997 Chad Fargason
1995-1996 Anna Georgieva and Chris Odden
1994-1995 Beth Brooks and Jim Rolf
1993-1994 Keener Hughen and Kevin Knudson
1992-1993 Sharad Chaudhary and Rick Clelland
1991-1992 Scott Gordon and Emily Puckette
1990-1991 Shandelle Henson and Chris Peterson
1989-1990 Al Bourgeois and Mickey McDonald
1988-1989 Tom Polaski and Tien-Yu Sun
1987-1988 Jeanne Nailor and Bill Mueller
1986-1987 Teresa Gonzales
1985-1986 Donna Gates Sylvester
1984-1985 Julie Kimbell
1983-1984 David Hartz and David Massey
1982-1983 Bruce Pitman and Les Reid
1981-1982 Lewis Blake, Joe Fehribach, and Karen Israel