David Lovelock

David Lovelock in 2016

*From the University of Arizona Mathematics Newsletter of Winter 2003 By Nicholas Ercolani, Department Head & Professor*

After 30 years with the University of Arizona Department of Mathematics, David Lovelock will retire in January of 2004. As a testament to his remarkable contributions to the University of Arizona, The Department of Mathematics, and to the community, an award has been established in his honor.

Lovelock received his formal education at the University of Natal in South Africa, including B.Sc. degrees in Mathematics/Physics and Applied Mathematics, and Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees in Mathematics. He taught at the University of Bristol, England for seven years and the University of Waterloo, Canada for five years before coming to Arizona in 1974. He is the coauthor of five undergraduate textbooks and one graduate textbook, and has published over thirty research articles, mostly in the area of general relativity, and more recently, several dealing with Mathematics Education.

He is a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, the Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement Award for Outstanding Teaching and High Scholarly Standards, the MAA Regional Award for Distinguished University Teaching of Mathematics, and was twice a Five Star Faculty Award finalist. He was the driving force behind the very successful development of UA educational software. These programs focused on a specific mathematical topic and/or class, fit on the smallest capacity disk, and ran bug-free and crash-proof on the simplest computers. They were so user-friendly that even a computer novice could learn the program within one class period.

During the middle 1980s and early 1990s David spearheaded our successful efforts to obtain two NSF equipment grants to develop and equip our two computer classrooms (see related article: “Computer Classrooms for the 21st Century”). He was also a CoPI on several NSF grants to develop and disseminate both undergraduate course materials and mathematical software, and gave workshops on the use of computer technology in teaching Mathematics, as well as in setting up computer classrooms. Lovelock was also one of the developers of a computer program, in use worldwide, for Search and Rescue operations. He has given workshops on its use, and has participated in many rescue efforts.

More recently Lovelock obtained an NSF grant to create a model program that increases interest in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology for physically disabled students from middle school to graduate school. The results of this grant far surpassed the original version and drew rave reviews from advocates for handicapped students. (See article in Fall 2001 newsletter: A Myopic View of Program ACCESS.)