PIMMS Founder Receives Service Award for Math, Science Contributions

Professor Emeritus Robert Rosenbaum was honored by the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents during a banquet May 8.
Posted 05/15/08
The Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) has awarded Robert Rosenbaum its Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his exemplary career, with its many contributions to math and science education.

Rosenbaum, chair and founder of the Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science (PIMMS), and the University Professor of Sciences and Mathematics, emeritus, received the award May 8 at the organization’s annual awards banquet in Groton, Conn.

“Extending a well-known aphorism of Henry Adams, I remark that educators affect eternity; they can never tell where their influence stops,” Rosenbaum said.

Rosenbaum, 92, a graduate of Yale University’s class of 1936, was a faculty member of several universities until 1953, when he joined the mathematics department at Wesleyan University. Over the course of his 55-year Wesleyan career, he has held many administrative positions, including dean, provost, academic vice-president, acting president and chancellor. In 1985, he was named the University Professor of Mathematics and Sciences, emeritus.

He is the author or co-author of four mathematics texts and the recipient of several honorary degrees.

He founded the PIMMS in 1979, was its director until 1995, and its chairman since 1995. Rosenbaum also was the Founding President of the Connecticut Academy for Education in Math, Science and Technology and served on its Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

“No person in the State of Connecticut – over the past thirty years – has done more for the improvement of math and science instruction than Robert A. Rosenbaum,” says Ted Sergi, president and CEO of the Connecticut Science Center, former Commissioner of the State Department of Education and a previous CAPSS Distinguished Service Award recipient. “Professor Rosenbaum has directly and indirectly touched the lives of thousand of K-12 teachers in Connecticut.”

Rosenbaum has volunteered an estimated 50,000 hours of his time towards math-related pursuits. He has served as a mentor to gifted middle and high school students and serves on various state and local committees concerned with both educational and social issues.

In addition, Rosenbaum has been the National Age Group Champion in squash four times. In 2005, Wesleyan named the squash facility in his name

Rosenbaum lives with his wife Marjorie in Middletown; he also owns a home in Colorado, near his three sons and their families.

By Maria Johnson, assistant director for programs, grants and marketing at PIMMS. Photo by Olivia Drake.