- 2002: Martine D. Meyer Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (UWM College of Letters & Science)
- 2003: UWM Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. Here’s the text of the award citation (this is no time for false modesty!):
To the many students who are afraid or intimidated by math, Jay Beder’s courses are like therapy, where they find both understanding and warm, personal dialogue with their professor, according to hundreds of student evaluations.By connecting the work he teaches with its use in real-life careers, Beder keeps his students’ attention and invites participation. His patience and gift for explanation make his classroom a safe and inviting place to learn, say colleagues.
His student evaluations are filled with comments such as, “I have never understood math in any class I have ever taken until now,” and, “Thank you for the most enjoyable math class I’ve taken in three years of being a math major.”
One former student went on to graduate study in a math-related field because of Beder’s mentoring. “He took someone convinced that she had no ability to do math and showed her that…developing math skills could be enjoyable,” she wrote of Beder. “I will always be grateful to him for his contribution to my intellectual development.”