President Kevin J. Worthen honored four members of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences faculty at the Annual University Conference on August 22, 2016.
Karl G. Maeser Excellence in Teaching Award
Tyler J. Jarvis, Department of Mathematics, received the Karl G. Maeser Excellence in Teaching award which honors BYU faculty for outstanding teaching accomplishments.
Jarvis joined the BYU Department of Mathematics in 1996, and is a highly respected scholar who is dedicated to excellence in teaching. He is the recipient of a 2016 Haimo award – a national award given to only three people in the nation each year recognizing excellence in undergraduate teaching. In addition, Jarvis has been one of two major contributors to the development of the new Applied and Computational Mathematics Emphasis (ACME) within the math department. An outstanding professor of mathematics, Jarvis’ high expectations for students, enthusiasm for teaching, and passion for mathematics contributes to his success as a professor.
Young Scholar Award
Pace P. Nielsen, Department of Mathematics, received the BYU Young Scholar Award. This award encourages and acknowledges outstanding promise and contributions by faculty in the early stages of their academic careers.
Nielsen joined the BYU Department of Mathematics in 2009 and is one of the most productive researchers in the department. His work falls into two very different areas of mathematics; he is a recognized expert in non-commutative ring theory, and is also known for his creative and groundbreaking work in classical number theory. He comes from a department where one paper per year is considered to be a good average publication rate. In contrast, Nielsen has 39 papers that have been published or accepted, with 29 of those papers appearing since he came to BYU – an average of approximately 4 papers per year.
While Nielsen is passionate about his research, he also makes sure to give adequate time and attention to his students and has a reputation of being a strong and engaging instructor. He sees potential in each student and believes anyone can be good at math “if they just put their mind to it in the first place and give it a shot.”
Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award
Tracianne Neilsen, Department of Physics and Astronomy, received the BYU Adjunct Faculty Excellence award which recognizes the contributions of part-time faculty who have demonstrated excellence in teaching or in other professional responsibilities over a period of at least five years.
While Nielsen’s official title is Adjunct Assistant Professor, the importance of her responsibilities and the scope, the depth, and the quality of her contributions to the physics department are such that she fully takes her place among the regular faculty of the department. Although her teaching responsibilities are significant, she has contributed in the acoustics research group, mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students, and has been coauthor on a number of publications. Her current research involves minimizing exposure to jet and rocket noise among military personnel. She has been a co-author on 89 publications since 2002 and has been part of BYU as an adjunct faculty member for 12 years.
Sponsored Research Recognition Award
Jani Radebaugh, Department of Geological Sciences, received the Sponsored Research Recognition award which recognizes BYU faculty members who demonstrate outstanding achievement in scholarly activities funded by external sponsors or who give significant service in support of sponsored research and creative programs.
Radebaugh has worked extensively with NASA to study the geology of various celestial bodies since coming to BYU in 2006, and is a top research scientist internationally in the field of planetary geomorphology. She specializes in studies of the landscapes of planets, especially Saturn’s moon Titan, Jupiter’s moon Io and Earth. She is part of a research team that used the Cassini spacecraft to discover oceans, rain, wind, dunes, lava flows and mountains on Saturn’s moon, Titan. In addition to studying Titan’s sand dunes, Radebaugh and her students have studied Io’s volcanoes and mountains, and found temperatures of lava lakes on Io using data from the Galileo and Cassini space crafts. To better understand all of these planets geological features, she travels to unique locations on the Earth that serve as analogues for other planets. Radebaugh and her students have studied megadunes in the Sahara, Arabia, and Namibia and lava lakes and flows in Hawaii, Ethiopia, and Vanuatu.