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Hutson Receives SCICU Excellence in Teaching Award

Last updated April 14, 2016

By Tina Underwood

Dr. Kevin Hutson, Professor of Mathematics at Furman University, has been awarded a 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award from the South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities (SCICU) organization.

SCICU annually recognizes one faculty member from each of its 20 member schools with the teaching awards. Each recipient is given a $3,000 professional development grant and honored at a special dinner.

Hutson joined the Furman faculty in 2006 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Hendrix College and master’s and doctorate degrees in mathematical sciences from Clemson University.

His commitment to innovation in mathematics instruction has captured the imagination of students by highlighting the relevance of computational literacy. Furman Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean Dr. John Beckford says, “Dr. Hutson has created projects for students to apply their classroom knowledge to real world problems.”

Furman’s “Math in the City” program, led by Hutson and several department colleagues, had Furman students assist the City of Greenville in identifying the location of a multi-story parking lot. Along with department colleagues Dr. Liz Bouzarth and Dr. John Harris, he co-led the first “Math and the Mouse” study away program to Walt Disney World, where students apply practical mathematical solutions to everything from logistics to game theory.

Along with Harris, Hutson developed a national reputation in sports analytics. ESPN has used Hutson and Harris’ adaptation of the Simple Rating System for college football, and most recently, the NCAA incorporated their formulas for seeding teams in the Division 1 Football Championship Series playoffs.

Hutson, Harris, and Bouzarth served as consultants to ESPN to provide analytics for their “Giant Killer Project” to help predict upsets in the NCAA College Basketball Tournament. Hutson’s continued emphasis on student-focused research results in numerous students seeking his mentoring for ambitious research projects. Furman President Dr. Elizabeth Davis says, “[Hutson’s] close attention to helping students find their calling, then charting a path to achieve their goals, represents Furman’s finest in student-faculty mentoring.”

Previous Furman winners of the SCICU Excellence in Teaching Award are Gil Einstein (Psychology), Elizabeth Smith (Political Science), Brannon Andersen (Earth and Environmental Sciences), Lloyd Benson (History), Scott Henderson (Education), Victoria Turgeon (Biology), Anne Leen (Classics) Jim Guth (Political Science), Alicia Powers (Health Sciences) and Leslie W. Hicken (Music).

For more information, contact Furman’s News and Media Relations office at (864) 294-3107 or visit the SCICU website.

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