Robert L. Devaney
NSF Award Recognition: NSF 2002 Distinguished Teaching Scholars

Research Contributions: Dr. Devaney’s research concerns reversible dynamical systems, particularly those that arise in physics and celestial mechanics. His most recent work has been at the interface of topology and dynamics, exploring the extremely interesting topological structures that arise naturally in the study of complex dynamical systems. Dr. Devaney’s graduate text on chaotic dynamics systems was probably the first modern treatment of discrete dynamical systems. He has been a visiting Fellow at the Mathematical Research Center in Barcelona, the University of California-Berkeley, and the Max Planck Institute in Bonn.

Educational Contributions: Dr. Devaney has authored several books and Internet tools on dynamical systems theory, which have been widely used in courses ranging from introductory classes for liberal arts majors and prospective teachers to advanced courses for mathematics majors. He has received various teaching awards, including the Northeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Award for Excellence in College and University Teaching, the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award, and the Boston University Teacher/Scholar of the year award.

Director's Award Project: Dr. Devaney develops online explorations of contemporary topics in mathematics drawn from dynamical systems theory and fractal geometry. His aim is to increase undergraduate student awareness of the beauty, importance, and applicability of contemporary mathematics, as well as make them aware of how technology impacts contemporary mathematics. His modules include streaming video introductions, java applets, computer-generated animations, on-line teacher’s guides, and open-ended questions appropriate for undergraduate research projects.

from NSF Event, 2002 Program