Louise Hay Award

2016 Winner: Judy Walker


In recognition of her leadership and contributions as a mathematical scholar and educator, the AWM presents the 2016 Louise Hay Award to Professor Judy Walker of the University of Nebraska. Creating and adapting innovative courses at all levels, Dr. Walker has made extraordinary contributions to mathematics education, guiding high school through graduate students, including freshmen and honors non-mathematics majors, as well as practicing teachers. She has received numerous awards for her teaching excellence including the MAA Haimo Award in 2006.

Dr. Walker is a recognized role model committed to nurturing the talent of emerging scholars. Locally, graduate students in her department selected her for the Roger Wiegand Award. Nationally, since 1999, Dr. Walker has been involved with the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics, advancing over 250 undergraduate women each year, a feat recognized in 2013 with the AMS Programs that Make a Difference Award. Dr. Walker also helped to establish a program to support the transition to graduate study for undergraduates from small institutions, and with a colleague, created a mathematics summer camp for high school girls.

Dr. Walker has published over 30 papers and organized 11 research conferences in algebraic coding theory, including 6 special sessions at AMS meetings. She is one of only four women chosen to present the George Polya Lectures for the MAA .

A mathematician and educator fully in the tradition of Louise Hay, Dr. Judy Walker is richly deserving of the 2016 Louise Hay Award. 

Response from Judy Walker:

My first interaction with the Association for Women in Mathematics was in 1990, when I received Honorable Mention for the First Annual Alice T. Schafer Prize.  I did not know at that time what a profound effect this organization would have on my career.  I feel fortunate to have participated in AWM Workshops as a graduate student in 1996 and again as a recent PhD in 2000, to have received an AWM Travel Grant to attend a conference in my field in 2000, and to have had the opportunity to serve AWM through the Executive Committee (2002-2004), the organizing committee for the AWM Workshops (2004-2006), and, most recently, the Nominating Committee (2015).  The AWM plays a critically important role in our profession, and I am truly honored to receive the Louise Hay Award this year.

I am grateful to those who have worked with me on educational endeavors throughout my career.  Special thanks go to Jim Lewis, who provided me with countless opportunities and invaluable mentoring; to Wendy Hines, with whom I co-created All Girls/All Math; to Allan Donsig, who co-created the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics with me; to Tom Marley who took the idea for Nebraska IMMERSE and developed it into a fabulous program; and to the many students I have had the privilege of teaching and mentoring.  Finally, very special thanks go to my husband, Mark, and to my daughters, Madeline and Becca, for their patience, their support, and their love.