Congratulations to Sean Gardiner of the School of Mathematics and Statistics, who has won the 2023 Australian Mathematical Society Award for Teaching Excellence (Early Career).

The award was conferred on Tuesday 5 December at the opening ceremony of the 67th Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society (AustMS), held at the University of Queensland from 5-8 December.

Dr Gardiner was recognised by AustMS for developing innovations in teaching and assessment that encourage undergraduate students to engage with and master deep mathematical content, and inspiring students of all ages to pursue Mathematics by developing outreach initiatives and contributing to national Mathematics enrichment programs. An innovator in teaching and assessment, he motivates undergraduates to master profound mathematical content, inspires diverse students through outreach, and enriches national programs.

AustMS established the annual Award for Teaching Excellence (Early Career) to encourage excellence in mathematics teaching in higher education. The award aims to recognise and reward outstanding contributions to teaching and student learning in the mathematical sciences at the tertiary level.

Awardees are invited to give a presentation on their work at the Annual Meeting and write a short classroom note for the AustMS Gazette. They are gifted prize money of $1000. 

"I'm honoured to be receiving this award - many thanks to those who supported my nomination!", said Dr Gardiner.

"It's great to see the Australian Mathematical Society using initiatives such as the Teaching Excellence awards to recognise innovation and good practice in Mathematics education alongside research."

Dr Gardiner delivered his presentation, Teaching How to be a Mathematician, to conference attendees after receiving his award at the opening ceremony on Tuesday morning. 

Commencing as a casual academic in the School of Mathematics and Statistics in 2019, Dr Gardiner took on a fixed-term Associate Lecturer (Education Focused) role the following year. This year, he was promoted to Lecturer (EF) and converted to a continuing position. He is Chair of the School's Publicity and Outreach Committee.

At UNSW he lectures and coordinates large first- and second-year courses to exceptional student reviews, and has developed novel question styles and methods of randomised assessment that are utilised in these courses and elsewhere. Dr Gardiner's innovations in teaching have improved course content accessibility and increased student engagement at a level encouraging both understanding and mastery of the addressed topics.

He is currently Deputy Director of the National Mathematics Summer School, a member of the Australian Mathematics Trust’s Maths Challenge committee, and a member of the Simon Marais Mathematics Competition committee as Marking Coordinator. In these roles he contributes to mathematics enrichment for students and teachers ranging from primary school to undergraduate levels.

Dr Gardiner has also designed student-driven interactive workshops that encourage thinking deeply about simple mathematical concepts, and has presented these to high acclaim at many outreach programs, including those targeting underrepresented groups in the mathematics discipline. He has developed and presented activities for the School of Mathematics and Statistics' flagship outreach workshop, Do The Maths, for several years. 

In 2020, Dr Gardiner was in a team of six School members who won the Faculty of Science Education Excellence Award for their outstanding efforts in the delivery of first year mathematics classes to thousands of students. They were praised for introducing online initiatives that enhanced the learning experience.

We warmly congratulate Dr Sean Gardiner for his latest award - a very well-deserved acknowledgement of his teaching excellence! 

Sean Gardiner during his presentation at AustMS 2023