John Selden, 87, of Las Cruces, New Mexico was the only child of John Selden, Sr. and Elizabeth Barton Selden. He was born September 28, 1934, in Hagerstown, Maryland and died January 8, 2022, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He is survived by his wife, Annie Selden, a stepson Neil Alexander, a stepdaughter Kim Aasland, five step-grandchildren Laura Aasland, Linnea Aasland, Naomi Aasland, Matthew Alexander, and Jordan Alexander. He was preceded in death by his parents and step-grandson Nathanael Aasland.
John majored in studio art and mathematics at the University of Miami where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree. He had a Master of Science degree in mathematics from Tulane University, and a PhD in mathematics from the University of Georgia.
John taught mathematics at a variety of universities in the United States and abroad including University of Kentucky, University of New Brunswick (Canada), Clarkson University, Bosphorus University (Istanbul, Turkey), Bayero University (Kano, Nigeria) where he served as Head of Department and Dean of Science, and Tennessee Technological University. John had 13 PhD students in mathematics and mathematics education, the last six jointly directed with Annie. Together John and Annie were presented the Inaugural Mentoring Award for their help and advice to young researchers by the Mathematical Association of America's Special Interest Group for Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education.
John was passionate about mathematics. He was often absorbed in research about mathematics, loved teaching, and thoroughly enjoyed his joint research in mathematics education with Annie. Together they traveled to conferences at home and abroad, and thereby they were able to visit a number of different countries including Brazil, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa, the Netherlands, England, Norway, Germany, France, Israel, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. While they did not always speak at such conferences, when queried as to why John would say, "Somebody's got to listen." They also traveled twice to Kazakhstan to visit Kim and her family who were living there. In his spare time, John enjoyed hiking and gardening, as well as attending craft fairs, rock shows, and the theater. He loved dogs and had many throughout his life.
Through the Mathematical Association of America, John and Annie established the Selden Prize for Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education to elevate the field and encourage young researchers. Anyone wishing to donate in John's memory to help increase the underlying fund can do so online to the Selden Prize Fund . Checks may be made out to the Mathematical Association of America with a note indicating it is a donation to Selden Prize Fund in memory of John Selden and mailed to The Mathematical Association of America, Washington, DC. Alternatively, one can donate to Mesilla Valley Hospice, 299 E Montana, Las Cruces, NM 88005 in honor of John Selden.
There will be a Zoom memorial service Saturday, January 29 at 11 am Pacific Standard Time. For details on how to login, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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