Bert K. Waits

  • 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

    Bert K. Waits

    Longwood, Florida
    Bert Waits was a true visionary in the field of mathematics education, the champion of the graphing calculator, and the cofounder of T3-Teachers Teaching with Technology-alongside his friend Frank Demana. Anyone who has taken a mathematics class in the past 30 years is likely to have benefited from the educational tools, professional development, and mathematics curriculum devised under his guidance.

    Waits was a professor emeritus of mathematics at The Ohio State University. He was the cofounder and director of the Ohio Early College Mathematics Placement Testing Program of the Ohio Board of Regents, which later became a model for the nation. Waits served as president of the Central Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics and authored more than 70 publications in internationally recognized professional journals.

    "He was a kind, gentle, brilliant man who constantly took joy from discovering new things and sharing them with everyone he could, always with an eye toward making mathematics teaching and learning a better experience for all involved," wrote one nominator. "He helped me and others see the potential for how things could be so much better if we used these powerful tools in wise ways."

    Waits' service to NCTM includes membership on the 9-12 working group for NCTM's Curriculum and Evaluation Standards , published in 1989. He served on the Algebra Convocation Task Force and the Professional Development Advisory Committee and later acted as the board liaison. He was a member of the NCTM Board of Directors from 2000 to 2003 and also served on the Assessment Task Force and the Academy Services Committee. Waits spoke at numerous NCTM annual meetings and regional conferences.

    The National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics and the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics recognized Waits' leadership and contributions to mathematics education by giving him the Glen Gilbert Award and Christofferson Fawcett Award, respectively. These are the highest awards bestowed by the two organizations.

    "Bert made a huge difference in so many lives all over the world-he taught teachers to learn and love math in a whole new way, and students for years to come will reap the benefits," wrote another nominator. "He was a dedicated, hard-working, and creative visionary, a brilliant thought leader, and a most respected expert in his field. Bert's passion for encouraging teachers to share their learning and expertise with others was contagious. His legacy will continue to improve the lives of millions of teachers and students for years to come."

    Bert Waits died on July 27, 2014.