Manhattan Mathematics Professor Wins Distinguished Teaching Award

Helene Tyler spreads passion for mathematics through her teaching at the College and volunteer work in Cambodia.

helene-tyler.jpgAn associate professor of mathematics at Manhattan College, Helene Tyler, Ph.D., was recently awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award by the New York Metro section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the world’s largest association of mathematicians, students and mathematics enthusiasts.

Tyler, who has a Ph.D. in representation theory from Syracuse University, has been a member of the Manhattan College faculty since 2002. Her main research interest is in the representation theory of finite dimensional algebras. Known for her dynamic, interactive lectures and substantive assignments that require students to expand their skills, she provides opportunities for both mathematics and non-mathematics majors to shine.

Tyler makes it a practice to nurture talent and encourage students from other disciplines to take more mathematics courses while supporting their individual growth. On several occasions, she has recruited students to give presentations at mathematics conferences. Thanks in large part to Tyler’s efforts, the number of students pursuing the Applied Mathematics concentration has increased substantially.

Committed to social justice through education, Tyler has served three times as a volunteer lecturer at the Royal University in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, through a program sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences that brings faculty from other countries to teach graduate classes in mathematics. She was invited to present a workshop at the ninth International Conference on Mathematics in Developing Countries in 2016.  

Tyler was also named Manhattan’s Lasallian Educator of the Year in 2015. Her former students have gone on to pursue Ph.D. degrees in mathematics at institutions including Brandeis University, Wesleyan University and the Ecole Normal in Paris.

Enumerating the praise for Tyler that was received in support of her nomination from colleagues and former students, the MAA citation noted, “They made the selection committee's deliberation process easy.”

"I am so proud to be a member of the Mathematics department at Manhattan College, with such wonderful students and colleagues,” Tyler said. “It has been the perfect place for me to develop as a professional and to share my enthusiasm for the beauty and utility of mathematics. Watching everyone pull together this semester, rising to a seemingly insurmountable challenge, has been particularly inspiring. Learning that people I respect so much feel the same way fills me with gratitude."

By Cecilia Donohoe