Mathematician receives distinguished writing award

August 21, 2000

Blacksburg, Va.-- Ezra A. Brown, professor of mathematics at Virginia Tech, was one of two mathematicians to receive the George Pólya Award from the Mathematical Association of America for articles of expository excellence published in The College Mathematics Journal.

Brown received the award, consisting of a citation and cash prize, Aug. 4 at the Summer Mathfest in Los Angeles. The award was for his article "Square Roots from 1;24,51,10 to Dan Shanks," published in the journal in March 1999. According to the citation, "From his charming introduction to the concluding questions, Ezra Brown illuminates an ancient subject with style and humor. His engaging, historically rich account of methods of approximating square roots reads almost like a well-written novel. By the last paragraphs, one is left waiting for a sequel."

Brown previously received the 1999 Award for Distinguished University Teaching from the Maryland/D.C./Virginia Section of the Mathematical Association of America, a Certificate of Teaching Excellence in 1991, a Diggs Teaching Scholar Award in 1997, and the William E. Wine Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1998. He has been at Virginia Tech since 1969, with time out for sabbatical visits to Washington, D.C. ---- where he has spent his summers since 1993 --- and Munich.

Brown's research interests include number theory, dynamical systems, graph theory, and the history of mathematics.
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PR CONTACT: Sally Harris
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Virginia Tech

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