X PREFACE and Kevin Easley in 1996, and his numerous publications with several collaborators, many of them contributors to this volume. Also important for him have been the very productive relations with a number of members of the Physics Department at MU. John participated in many committees throughout campus, enjoying this "dif- ferent dimension of academic life, dealing with people and with how people deal with different kinds of problems." As the Director of Undergraduate Studies for 9 years, he gained unique insights in the quality of math majors and the problems they face. He feels that the very best students are now better than ever, and con- jectures that this is partly because they actually work harder than corresponding students in the past. The University of Missouri has recognized John Beem on several occasions for his outstanding career: He was the L.M. Defoe Chair (1981-1984) and L.M. Blumenthal Chair (1992-1997), both named professorships in Mathematics. In 1996 he received a Kemper Teaching award. John's interest in mathematics education goes a long way back, before such things became trendy. He joined local societies concerned with math education as soon as he arrived at Missouri, focusing more on these issues with the "ShowMe" project that started 10 years ago. Currently, he is participating in the "CM- Squared" Project, a multi-million dollar NSF grant. He hopes to see more money spent by government for the improvement of education on all levels. How does he sum it all up? He describes himself really pleased and happy with his years at the University of Missouri and the many collaborators he has worked with during his career. And he deeply thanks the participants and all the speakers of the Beemefest. S.D & P.E.
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