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Applied Mathematics Professor Earns Hamming Teaching Award
U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya

Applied Mathematics Professor Earns Hamming Teaching Award

By Javier Chagoya

Richard W. Hamming Excellence in Teaching Award recipient, Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics Ralucca Gera, above center, is joined by her mother, Stephanie Muntean left, and husband Adrian Gera in Herrmann Hall following the 2016 Summer Graduation Awards Ceremony, Sept. 13.

The Hamming Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes an NPS faculty member who excelled in classroom teaching as evidenced by student mastery of course material, thesis supervision, and the mentoring and education of students beyond the classroom.

“It is a great honor! I am humbled to have been chosen for such a distinguished award, and to join past recipients whom I have long admired and respected,” said Gera. “I owe my achievement to the continuous support of my husband Adrian, my mother Stephanie and my dad Petru.”

Gera also credited her parents for recognizing her academic talents and believing in her ability to make a difference through education. U.S. 1st Lt. Marcelo Presa is one of the students who will benefit from that foresight. He is beginning his second year in the Department of Applied Mathematics.

“My cohort of Army officers at NPS will be some of the first cyber Soldiers to earn a master’s degree, and with that, the weight of selecting a thesis topic that will impact cyber security challenges is great. The possibility of having Professor Gera as my advisor would be a big plus in guiding me along this route,” said Presa.

Hamming Award Committee Chairman Professor Michael Freeman received input from a broad cross-section of NPS leadership, faculty, students and staff before his committee made its recommendation to the provost.

“Associate Professor Gera’s varied contributions in the mathematics department exemplify the spirit of the Hamming Excellence in Teaching Award. It recognizes the faculty member, who does the most for our students both in and outside of the classroom,” said Freeman.

“I, for one, am delighted to see the Department of Applied Mathematics join the ranks of departments that are home to recipients of the Hamming Teaching Award. With an enviable record both in and out of classroom, as an exceptional teacher and a tireless researcher, Ralucca Gera is a perfect fit for the award,” added Professor and Chair of Applied Mathematics Craig Rasmussen.

In addition to in-residence teaching duties and thesis advising, Gera is also the program manager for the Network Science Academic Certificate Program.

The Richard W. Hamming Excellence in Teaching Award is named after computer science pioneer and world-renowned inventor Richard W. Hamming who served as an NPS professor emeritus until his death in early 1998.
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September 2016

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