Dan Kennedy

Faculty Information

Location(s)
Upper School
Department(s)
Mathematics
Title(s)
Mathematics Instructor

Contact Information

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
231

Education

Degree(s)
BA, College of the Holy Cross
MS, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
PHD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Other Information

Intro
"The ultimate joy of teaching is watching them learn, and it is a joy which is available in this job every day."
Biography

In an article in The American Mathematical Monthly entitled "A Tale of Two CD's," Dan argues that, just as the compact disk has revolutionized how people listen to music, so too the graphing calculator has transformed the teaching of math. Instead of memorizing formulas and plugging numbers into them, students now use calculators to solve real problems. The new ideal, Dan says, is to create an environment where all students are "doing meaningful math using appropriate technology."

Dan has had an important voice in this revolution. From 1986 to 1994 he served as one of six members of the Advanced Placement Calculus Development Committee, and he chaired the committee from 1990-94--the first high school teacher ever to do so. In determining the AP calculus curriculum and writing AP tests, the committee made calculators an essential part of high school calculus throughout the country.

Baylor's Cartter Lupton Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, Dan chaired the math department from 1976-94, and he has received several prestigious professional awards, including the 1995 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching. But students are what matter most to Dan: "The ultimate joy of teaching is watching them learn, and it is a joy which is available in this job every day."

Dan is the voice of the Red Raiders in several varsity sports, a regular on the senior trip, and the past sponsor of such activities as the Great Hamburger Hunt. For more than 24 years he was a dorm parent in Lupton Hall, where he was known for baking an individual cake for every boy on his birthday. He also delivered the Baylor convocation speech in 1990, hosted two national satellite video conferences for AP teachers, wrote the 1997 AP Teacher's Guide for Calculus, and is a co-author of five Prentice Hall and Addison Wesley mathematics textbooks ranging from Algebra I to Calculus.

In addition, this man of protean abilities is a Sunday school teacher at St. Jude's Catholic Church. He spent many summers as program director at Camp Pathfinder in Ontario, Canada, the camp he attended while growing up in Rochester, New York. He has an extensive collection of 45-rpm records, and every year he writes a legendary Christmas poem several hundred lines long. (Who else could rhyme "Murdock" and "gaudy-tie-and-burr Doc"?) When he retires, he hopes to spend more time baking his famous desserts. You can access some of Dan’s articles and talks on mathematics and mathematics education by visiting his homepage (see above link).

Appointed 1973

Written by Jim Stover, 1998