This obituary was posted on the CPAM e-mail list this morning:
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 08:24:35 -0400 From: "John Mahoney" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: [Cpamlist] Sad news about Karen Michalowicz To: "Susan Weiss" <email@example.com>
Friends - The Washington Post ran an obituary this morning of our dear friend, Karen:
*Karen Shuman Michalowicz; Prized Teacher*
By Patricia Sullivan Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, July 28, 2006; B06
Karen Dee Shuman Michalowicz, 63, a middle school mathematics teacher in McLean for nearly 40 years, died of bone marrow cancer July 17 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. She lived in Falls Church.
She was chairwoman of the Langley School's Upper School math department and was dedicated to her students. She taught fifth-graders concepts such as the golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence by pointing out how shells develop and how plants grow leaves. Her demonstration of the concept in nature triggered fascination with math among many students.
"She was very good at showing how math is interesting, how it matters and how it pops up . . . instead of having the class do long division and multiplication," said Nathan Curtis, one of her students, who went on to an international Math Olympiad. He told The Washington Post in 1997 that "Ms. Mikey" taught him how the rules of mathematics govern how to accurately draw plants, clouds, trees or mountains.
Ms. Michalowicz's interests included math history, female mathematicians and the use of geometry in African artifacts, the topic of a book she reviewed for the Mathematical Association of America. She published numerous articles, and her collection of old textbooks contained more than 500 books published between 1529 and 1899.
She was an adjunct professor of math at George Mason University, edited a multimedia program on math history and presented talks at more than 75 workshops. She received the National Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching in 1990, the American Association of University Women's state teacher of the year award and the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics teacher of the year award.
Ms. Michalowicz was a member of the board of Mathcounts, a national enrichment, coaching and competition organization. She was a member of the National Research Council's U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction and helped design a series of posters for the Benjamin Banneker Association, contributing articles for its monthly newsletter.
She also volunteered at So Others Might Eat, drove the elderly to church services and played organ at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, where she was a parishioner for more than 40 years.
Born in Fort Wayne, Ind., she traveled extensively as a child because of her father's Marine Corps career. She finished elementary school in Falls Churchand spent part of high school in Jakarta, Indonesia, taking correspondence courses. She graduated from St. Mary's Academy in Alexandria and from Catholic University. She also received a master's degree in education from the University of Virginia.
Her marriage to Joseph Michalowicz ended in divorce.
Survivors include two children, Dr. Joleen Michalowicz of Falls Church and Michael Michalowicz of Richmond; a sister, JoEtte Fletcher of Vienna; a brother, Robert Shuman of Potomac; her mother, Irene Shuman of Falls Church; and four grandchildren.