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WIU Mathematics and Philosophy Professor James Olsen
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WIU Professor Honored by National Mathematical Organization

May 1, 2023

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – Western Illinois University Department of Mathematics and Philosophy Professor James Olsen has received the Distinguished Service Award from the Illinois Section of the Mathematical Association of America (ISMAA).

The award was presented at ISMAA's annual meeting in March.

The award is given each year to a "friend and supporter of the section and its programs." The recipient must have been a member of the MAA, and have lived in Illinois for at least 10 years. There are also service requirements attached to the award.

As Olsen prepares to retire from Western in 2023, he has a distinguished career of service to his academic division and to the University. In 2019, he was presented with the Award for Academic Excellence in Enhancing Learning with Technology from the WIU Provost's Office, and with the Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching with Technology from the WIU College of Arts and Sciences.

In 2015, Olsen was named a faculty initiate into WIU's chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and in 2003, he was presented the James Armstrong Award for outstanding service to Community College Mathematics in Illinois, Support and Contributions to IMACC, and Excellence in Teaching Mathematics to Students at All Levels by the Illinois Mathematics Association of Community Colleges.

Olsen received professional achievement awards from WIU in 2004, 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2017, and he was named to the Project Kaleidoscope Faculty for the 21st Century in 1999.

Over the years, Olsen has made numerous presentations about his work at conferences in the United States and around the world. He has also published numerous articles about his research and conducted teacher in-service training sessions.

While at WIU, he has also been awarded numerous grants and supervised the research of many undergraduate students. He also co-organized the annual WIU Mathematics Teachers Conference for many years.

For more information about WIU's Department of Mathematics and Philosophy, visit

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