Speaking of Complex, once upon a time some DumbAss in Math 3 (back when there was Math 3, doesn't that make me feel old?) interrupted Prof. Ward's quick review of imaginary numbers (she was just getting us warmed up for the really cool stuff) to ask "Why should I believe you on any of this?" and Prof. Ward, without missing a beat, barely turned away from the blackboard as she replied "Because I do complex analysis for a living." Need I say more? She kicks ass.
More reasons to love Professor Ward include the fact that she rules the world with an iron fist, as evinced by the fact that she can randomly find you, sit you down in her office, determine the status of your TheSis and make you a timeline for the rest of the year, all in the course of less than an hour, or at least this was recently the case for TracyvanCort, who is just starting to realize that Prof. Ward is one of her RoleModels, and a darn good one at that.
I'd like to second that sentiment. In my third semester at Mudd (after a *VERY* rocky second semester), I was in serious danger of failing......well, just about everything. I had effectively resigned myself to my fate, dropped a few classes, stopped attending most of the others, and just about accepted that I'd be ITRing at the end of the semester. ProfessorWard, however, ran into me one day (in Platt, I believe) and said, "You need to start coming to class and you need to come see me during office hours." Now, to make a long story short, she helped me out so much that I turned a certain F in ComplexVariables into a C and salvaged the rest of my classes. Sure, my GPA was dismal (and I technically should have ITRed anyway, but that's a story for another time and another node), but I did well enough that SSC decided I deserved to stay at Mudd. Although she wasn't the only one who carried me through that semester, I give ProfessorWard most of the credit for not letting me screw myself over for good. She very much rocks.--DanCicio
I need to weigh in with my "Prof Ward changed my life" story. I was walking past her office one day and said, "hi." She invited me in and we started chatting about how I love dance, her husband is Brazilian, I learned some portuguese once upon-a-time and would love to visit Brazil... Suddenly she tells me that I'm going to apply for a WatsonFellowship to study dance in Brazil. I go check it out, come back a week later and have a 20 minute talk in which she outlines all of the points I need to include in my application (language ability, travel experience, contacts, etc.) and hands me a book about Brazilian music and dance. A year later I'm sitting at a samba school in Rio de Janeiro wondering what on earth happened. If you ever need someone to help you organize your life and give you direction, stop by her office for a chat. She's just that cool. Her accent is cute too. :) --TaraMartin