Steven Tedford, Ph.D., professor of Mathematics and department chair, recently received the Paul Bruckman Prize for his work on the Fibonacci Sequence.
Dr. Tedford began his career as an assistant professor in the Mathematics department at Franklin and Marshall College. In 2008, he came to Misericordia University as a visiting assistant professor in the Mathematics department.
Published in the Fibonacci Quarterly, an official publication of The Fibonacci Association, “Fibonacci Graphs” originated from a related Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) project topic with then statistics and mathematics major, Lindsay Kane ’20. Tedford had previously served as Kane’s faculty mentor and advisor during the summer of 2018. He used his research in Fibonacci numbers, a well-known sequence of integers, to enhance his knowledge on the topic and to provide a hands-on learning opportunity. Little did Tedford know that not only would his research result in a scholarly paper being published in a national journal, but it would also win him the Bruckman Prize.
The paper, “Fibonacci Graphs”, takes a new graphic approach to Fibonacci numbers by representing each element with a graph or picture consisting of points and lines. Tedford’s research is typically in the area of combinatorics, the study of finite mathematical objects. He used the graphs to justify the properties that the sequence is known to have.
When the paper was published in November 2019, Tedford wasn’t aware that he was being considered for the Bruckman Prize, nor did he intend on becoming a candidate for the prestigious award. Named in honor of Paul Bruckman, who had a long and distinguished association with Fibonacci numbers, the Bruckman Prize is awarded to individuals that develop a new approach or expand results in the area of generalized Fibonacci numbers or in related mathematical disciplines. Two winners are chosen each even-numbered year – one for a written paper; and one for a presentation at the bi-annual conference of the Fibonacci Association. Dr. Tedford received the award in September 2020, and is the third winner of the Bruckman Prize for a published paper on Fibonacci numbers since its inception in 2016.
To learn more about the Mathematics program at Misericordia University, go to www.misericordia.edu/mathematics.