Math professor honored for 33 years of unique teaching styles, passion for subject

Steven Hurd

Steven Hurd

For 33 years, Daniel Kemp has been providing quality mathematics education to students at SDSU, and he received recognition for his contributions to the university at an SDSU faculty recognition ceremony held on Feb. 24.

Kemp, an honors mathematics professor, was awarded the Edward Patrick Hogan Award for Excellence in Teaching at the ceremony, which was held in the Union.

“I was very, very pleased to be recognized for teaching because that is primarily what I do,” Kemp said. “It’s always nice to be recognized for what you are doing, or at least it’s nice to be recognized for doing it well.”

Timothy Nichols, dean of the Honors College, nominated Kemp for the award.

“He was nominated for more than 30 years of exemplary service to students at SDSU,” said Nichols. “He is a teacher and adviser who challenges and supports students, bringing out the best in them and providing instruction and advice that helps them achieve their personal and professional goals.”

Since 1976, Kemp has enjoyed providing students with a core knowledge of mathematics, a foundation they can build on in the future.

“I would like to think that [students] gain some confidence in their mathematics ability and are able to learn more mathematics on their own as necessary,” Kemp said.

It is this attitude that gained him acknowledgment in his fifth year at SDSU, when he received the award for Teacher of the Year in the College of Engineering in 1981.

For the most part, Kemp teaches undergraduate mathematics. His subjects include: the honors calculus sequence, differential equations, geometry, history of mathematics and senior seminar. This semester, he instructs 37 students total; what he refers to as a “light semester.”

Kemp uses a variety of teaching methods in his courses. He puts an emphasis on recitation and interaction among students in his courses. Other common teaching methods that Kemp employs are lecturing, group work for out-of-class assignments, outside reading and written papers based on these readings.

The two primary aspects Kemp said he enjoys most about his job are “the interaction with students” and math itself.

“I really like talking with students,” he said. “I also enjoy learning about mathematics. There is always something new that I can learn that is relevant to my classes.”

Sarah Jensen, a senior math education major, had Kemp for Math 401: Senior Seminar and an Independent Study of Modern Geometry, and he was her adviser for her senior paper. Jensen said that many students admire and respect the professor.

“I always felt like I could come to him with any questions, and he never made me feel like I was taking up his time,” she said. “? With my senior paper when there was a problem neither him nor I could figure out, he would work on it and work on it until he figured it out. I don’t know any student who does not like Dr. Kemp and think he is a great teacher.”

As well as being an honors mathematics professor, Kemp serves as a Golden Key Honorary Group adviser, an Honors College Student Organization adviser and a Math Club adviser.

“My primary goal is to get students interested in and excited about mathematics,” Kemp said. “Most of the students take mathematics because it’s required, but it’s nice to get them interested and excited about it beyond just the coursework. I think that’s my real goal here.”

#1.881816:2169746045.jpg:IMG_8159.1.jpg:Professor Daniel Kemp of the Mathematics Department at SDSU was recently recognized for his outstanding teaching. Kemp focuses on many angles of math, including written papers about mathematics. :Aileen Rodriguez