Penn State York Math Professor Retires after 34 years
John W. Dawson, Ph.D., professor of mathematics at Penn State York has retired after 34 years of service to the University. Dawson retired effective June 30. He has been honored with Emeritus status.
Dawson joined the Penn State faculty in 1972 after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. He came to Penn State York in 1975 as an assistant professor of mathematics and was promoted to full professor in 1985. Dawson earned outstanding evaluations throughout the years from both students and peers.
He was honored in April with the James H. Burness Award for Excellence in Teaching given to an outstanding full-time faculty member based on nominations by students and other members of the campus community. The award is named in honor of the late James H. Burness, in recognition of his outstanding teaching and service to the campus. He taught the full range of undergraduate courses available and initiated Math 35, general view of mathematics at Penn State York. In 1984 he taught one of the earliest honors sections offered at the campus in any discipline.
An internationally recognized authority on the life and work of Kurt Gödel, Dawson is the author of Logical Dilemmas, The Life and Work of Kurt Gödel, the definitive biography of this logician and philosopher. The book, published in 1997, has been translated into German, and some of Dawson's papers have been translated into Bulgarian, Czech, Italian, and Japanese.
During the years 1982 to 1984 Dawson catalogued Gödel's papers at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, and he has served as the co-editor of Gödel's Collected Works since the inception of that ongoing editorial project. He has lectured aspects of Gödel's work at international conferences in Salzburg, Austria; Druzhba, Bulgaria; Paris, France; and Uppsala, Sweden. Dawson is the author of numerous articles on axiomatic set theory and the history of modern logic.
Dawson is also an accomplished flutist and an expert on mushrooms. He resides in York with his wife, Cheryl.