Mines News

Release Date Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Mines Math Professor Wins Prestigious Chauvenet Prize from Mathematical Association of America

Travis Kowalski, Ph.D., is the interim head of the Department of Mathematics and a professor at South Dakota Mines. Photo courtesy: Rapid City Journal.

Dr. Travis Kowalski, professor and interim head of the Department of Mathematics at South Dakota Mines is the winner of the 2021 Chauvenet Prize from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). This award recognizes outstanding expository articles on a mathematical topic, and winners of the Chauvenet Prize are among the most distinguished of mathematical expositors.

A press release issued by MAA states that Kowalski received the award for his outstanding expository article on a mathematical topic, for “The Sine of a Single Degree,” published in The College Mathematics Journal 47 (2016). “The Chauvenet Prize honors outstanding communication of mathematics, a core value of MAA,” said Michael Pearson, MAA executive director. “Prof. Kowalski’s contribution offers readers an invitation to explore surprising connections and share in the joy of discovery.”

“This award is very well deserved for Dr. Kowalski and an honor for the entire university,” says Mines President Jim Rankin. “This is one more example showing that South Dakota Mines is fortunate to attract so many world class faculty members.”

According to the MAA press release, the article “The Sine of a Single Degree,” leads readers on a hunt for sine of 1o, and delves into geometry, algebra, and complex numbers while writing for a wide mathematical audience. “So many Chauvenet Prize laureates are mathematicians who inspired me to see mathematics as an expression of artistry and humanity as well as an exercise in logic and rigor,” Kowalski says. “I am profoundly humbled to be considered among them.” Kowalski is celebrated on campus not only as a professor, but also as an artist. His daily drawings are a delight to many in the campus community.

The MAA recognized Kowalski with the George Pólya Award in 2017 for the same publication. In 2019, he also received the Burton W. Jones Award from MAA’s Rocky Mountain Section for his excellence as a teacher.


About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $70,036. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Snapchat.

Contact: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, mike.ray@sdsmt.edu

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