The 2013-14 academic year recipient of the Johnson Center for Creative Teaching and Learning Excellence in Teaching Award is Prof. Bela Bajnok, who holds the endowed position of Alumni Chair Professor in Mathematics. Before joining Gettysburg College in 1993, Professor Bajnok had a wide range of experience, teaching at an Ivy League institution, a large state university, a prestigious European university, highly selective residential colleges as well as at an inner city university with an open enrollment policy. His favorite courses to teach here at Gettysburg College are the Abstract Mathematics I and II sequence and the Mathematics Department’s three research classes for which he provides his own materials. As for Professor Bajnok’s research interests, they are numerous, and he has published widely in such periodicals as The Journal of Combinatorial Theory, The Journal of Approximation Theory, Advances in Geometry, and The International Journal of Number Theory.
In addition, Professor Bajnok has published an important textbook entitled An Invitation to Abstract Mathematics. Within his department Professor Bajnok has served as chairperson, coordinated the International Math Olympiad and directed the International Mathematics Talent Search. But it is in the classroom, as one colleague points out, that Professor Bajnok has the uncanny ability to push students to their limit while still maintaining their love of and excitement about mathematics. Students concur and comment that they are grateful that Professor Bajnok has obliged them to think clearly and critically. Indeed, it is important to note that Professor Bajnok’s exemplary work in the classroom has been recognized nationally. He won the 2012 Crawford Teaching Award from the Mathematical Association of America.