– David Cohen, professor of mathematics and statistics and a member of the Smith College faculty for more than four decades, was named 2009 Honored Professor during the commencement ceremony May 17.
Since 1987, Smith has presented the Honored Professor Award every year to a faculty member who has given long and distinguished service to the college.
“This year’s honored professor has a deep and abiding interest in teaching – and an undeniable gift for it,” said President Carol T. Christ, upon presenting the award. “A pioneer in the use of collaborative techniques to teach mathematics, he empowers students to take charge of their intellectual growth – especially in a discipline traditionally hostile to women.”
Cohen is an expert in empirical logic and quantum theory, as well as the mathematical education of non-mathematicians. He wrote four influential books including “Conversational Calculus” and “Calculus: The Language of Change,” which he co-authored with a longtime Smith colleague James Henle.
In 2004 Cohen was an inaugural recipient of Smith’s Kathleen Compton Sherrerd ’54 and John J.F. Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching.
“Mathematics, he asserts, is not only a written and oral language by which we make sense of the world but a literature and a compendium of masterworks in which are contained a great body of universal truths,” said Christ.
Smith College educates women of promise for lives of distinction. One of the largest women’s colleges in the United States, Smith enrolls 2,800 students from nearly every state and 62 other countries.