He has an abiding love for mathematics, lives it, and loves to talk about it.
Anyone who has spent time with mathematics professor David Shannon knows full well the truth of those words. He is captivated by the intricacy and logic of complex mathematical formulations, and he likes nothing better than to see the light of understanding come on in the minds of his students.
"A good mathematics course requires that both the student and the teacher work very hard," he says. "I love to interact with bright, curious students who give good effort. Sharing with them my love of mathematics and of its beauty is what I enjoy most about teaching."
Transylvania students and his faculty colleagues have long recognized the quality of Shannon's teaching. It was made official in 2011 when he received the Transylvania Medal for the distinction he has brought to the university through his exemplary service, both in and out of the classroom. In 2009, he was co-recipient of the Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics, given by the Kentucky section of the Mathematical Association of America.
Shannon has published and given presentations in the field of algebraic geometry and commutative algebra. He works with colleagues at Purdue University on research in those fields.
With an inquiring and wide-ranging mind that finds knowledge from far outside the realm of mathematics to be of great interest, it's no wonder that Shannon views his discipline from within the broader context of liberal education. "It's important for all students to be well educated citizens of this country and of the world—the quality of life on our planet depends on it," he says. "Mathematics is a discipline that is about problem solving. All it needs is curiosity, and the liberal arts encourage that."