posted November 24, 2005

Mathematics Professor Janet Andersen Dies in Auto Accident

Dr. Janet L. Andersen, professor of mathematics at Hope College, was killed in an automobile accident in Allegan County on Thursday, Nov. 24.

          According to the Allegan County Sheriff Department, Dr. Andersen was the driver of a car involved in a collision at an intersection in Overisel Township.  There were whiteout conditions from blowing snow at the time of the accident, police said.

          Dr. Andersen's husband, James, a passenger in the vehicle, was treated at Holland Hospital.

          "The Hope College community mourns Dr. Andersen's death," said Hope College President James E. Bultman. " Our sympathy goes to the Andersen family.  Janet was a beloved teacher, a superb administrator and cherished colleague.  She will be greatly missed by the entire college community."

          Dr. Andersen, 47, joined the Hope College faculty in 1991. She served as chair of the department of mathematics from 2000-04.  She held the academic rank of Professor of Mathematics.

          She also served as director of the Pew Midstates Science and Mathematics Consortium, a collaboration of 11 liberal arts colleges and two research universities.  The consortium promotes effective collaboration among faculty at the member institutions with the goal of improving undergraduate science and mathematics education.

          Dr. Andersen served as director of general education at Hope College from 1998-2000.  She chaired the Mathematical Association of America's committee on the teaching of undergraduate mathematics.

          Earlier this year she and faculty colleague Todd Swanson coauthored a new mathematics textbook, "Understanding Our Quantitative World".  She was also the co-author of two other textbooks, "Projects for Precalculus" (1997) and "Precalculus: A Study of Functions and Their Applications" (2000).    She was developing a sophomore-level mathematical biology course.  Her work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation.

          In 2004 she was presented a Hope College Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching.  Her work, "Projects for Precalculus" was an award winner in the Innovative Programs Using Technology competition of the Mathematics Association of America in 1997 and was featured in the book, "Exemplary Programs in Introductory College Mathematics."

          Dr. Andersen was an active member of the Hope College faculty, serving on several campus boards and committees.

          Dr. Andersen completed her bachelor's degree at LeTourneau University in Longview, Tex.  She received the master's and doctorate degree at the University of Minnesota.

          Visitation will be held Monday from 6 -9 p.m. and Tuesday from 2 - 4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at Notier-VerLee Langeland Funeral Chapel, 315 E 16th St., Holland, Mich.

          Funeral Services will be held Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel on the campus of Hope College.

          Memorial Gifts may be given to the Hope College Department of Mathematics Scholarship Fund in memory Janet L. Andersen or the First Baptist Church of Holland, Mich.