Mathematics Professor Adrian Rice
Randolph-Macon College Mathematics Professor Adrian
Rice was recently presented the Carl B. Allendoerfer Award by the Mathematical Association
of America (MAA) at their annual MathFest summer meeting in Hartford, Connecticut.
The Allendoerfer Award, established in 1976, is made to authors of outstanding expository
articles published in Mathematics Magazine. Carl B. Allendoerfer, a distinguished
mathematician at the University of Washington, served as president of the MAA from
1959 to 1960.
Rice was recognized for his paper “Why Ellipses are not Elliptic Curves,” which
he co-authored with Professor Ezra Brown of Virginia Tech. At the awards ceremony,
Rice was lauded for the article:
“While ellipses and elliptic curves are two topics most mathematicians know something
about, few of us have considered how they relate to each other. It is clear that
the equations of ellipses and elliptic curves are different, but why then are their
names so similar? This excellent exposition … illustrates both how these two objects
are related and why mathematically they are fundamentally different.”
Rice, who joined the R-MC faculty in 1999, earned his B.S. in mathematics from University
College London and his Ph.D. in the history of mathematics from Middlesex University.
His research at R-MC focuses on 19th-century and early 20th-century mathematics.
His publications include Mathematics Unbound: The Evolution of an International
Mathematical Research Community, 1800–1945 (edited with Karen Hunger Parshall)
and The London Mathematical Society Book of Presidents, 1865–1965 (written
with Susan Oakes and Alan Pears). He also edited the 2011 Oxford University Press
book Mathematics in Victorian Britain (with Raymond Flood and Robin Wilson)
and has published numerous journal articles.
In 2003, Rice was the recipient of R-MC’s Thomas Branch Award for Excellence in
Teaching. In 2007, he received the Trevor Evans Award for Outstanding Expository
Writing from the Mathematical Association of America for an article he co-wrote
with R-MC Mathematics Professor Eve Torrence on the mathematics of Lewis Carroll.
In 2010, Rice received the Trevor Evans Award
for Outstanding Expository Writing for an article entitled "Gaussian Guesswork (or
Why 1.19814023473559220744... is Such a Beautiful Number)." In 2013, he received
the MAA’s John Smith Award
for Distinctive College or University Teaching.