AMS News AMS News - RSS Feed Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EST en-us 2014 Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference Awards Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EST <p> <a href="/images/ptmd-2014-smp.jpg"><img alt="Past SMP participants" src="/images/thumbs/ptmd-2014-smp.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 67px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; float: left;" /></a><a href="/images/ptmd-2014-rusis.jpg"><img alt="RUSIS 2012 participants" src="/images/thumbs/ptmd-2014-rusis.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 62px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; float: left; margin-left: 1px; margin-right: 1px;" /></a>The <strong>Carleton College Summer Mathematics Program</strong> (SMP) and the <strong>Rice University Summer Institute of Statistics</strong> (RUSIS) have each been chosen to receive the 2014 Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference Award.&nbsp; (Photos: Left: SMP community members (spanning 16 years), courtesy of Carleton College Summer Mathematics Program; Right: Participants in RUSIS 2012, courtesy of Javier Rojo.)<!-- AMSNEWSBREAK --><br /> <br /> The Carleton SMP is honored for its successful efforts to encourage women to pursue doctoral work by helping them prepare for the rigors of graduate school and for building a thriving network of successful women in the field. RUSIS is honored for its significant efforts to encourage underrepresented minorities and women to continue in the study of mathematics.The annual award was created by the AMS Committee on the Profession to recognize outstanding programs that successfully address the issue of underrepresented groups in mathematics. Information about each program follows.</p> <p> <em>Carleton College Summer Mathematics Program</em></p> <p> <strong>Allan Greenleaf</strong> of the University of Rochester, who serves as chair of the Committee on the Profession, said, &quot;The Carleton College Summer Math Program has been making a difference since it began in 1995. Each summer, the program engages its participants, all female, with exciting and challenging mathematics and brings them into a stimulating and supportive community of women who share a passion for mathematics and have excelled in the subject.&quot;</p> <p> The main focus of the Carleton College SMP is to increase the probability that the participants will attempt and achieve advanced degrees in mathematics. To date, 56 SMP alumnae have earned PhDs, and 71 are currently enrolled in graduate programs in the mathematical sciences. The SMP is run by Carleton College mathematics professors <strong>Deanna Haunsperger</strong> and <strong>Stephen Kennedy</strong>.</p> <p> The program consists of four weeks of intense coursework, seminars, and group discussions all aimed at challenging the participants and providing them with a network of peers and mentors. The program has expanded to include many activities for its extensive network of alumnae. Each summer there is a three-day reunion conference and several recent PhDs are invited back for two to three weeks to work intensively on their own research programs while serving as mentors to that summer&#39;s participants.</p> <p> Through all of their activities, the organizers of SMP have formed an impressive vertically-integrated support network, consisting of members of the SMP community. Alumnae of the program remark on the profound and lasting impact their participation in SMP has had on their careers. They are active, engaged mathematicians who also recognize the importance of mentoring other women in the field.</p> <p> <em>Rice University Summer Institute of Statistics</em> (now renamed Research for Undergraduates Summer Institute of Statistics at the University of Nevada at Reno, RUSIS@UNR)</p> <p> Greenleaf, chair of the Committee on the Profession, said, &quot;The Rice University Summer Institute in Statistics has been making a difference since it began in 2003. With a focus on students from groups which have traditionally been underrepresented in the mathematical sciences, RUSIS gets students involved in research projects in statistics, while also crucially providing devoted mentoring and practical information about how to succeed in graduate school.&quot;</p> <p> As the country&#39;s first Research Experiences for Undergraduates program focusing on the field of statistics, RUSIS has been phenomenally successful: Among the RUSIS participants who have now graduated from college, 83% have gone on to graduate school. 61% of RUSIS participants are from underrepresented minorities, and 53% are female. Of the minority RUSIS alumni, 3 have earned PhDs, 10 have earned master&#39;s degrees, and 25 are currently in PhD programs. RUSIS was founded at Rice University by Javier Rojo; he recently joined the mathematics and statistics department at the University of Nevada at Reno and moved the program there.</p> <p> RUSIS brings in 12 students for 10 intense weeks over the summer. The program begins with coursework in probability, statistics, and computation. Students then form groups and participate in at least one research project in which they analyze data, run computer simulations, develop algorithms, and, when appropriate, engage in theoretical work. Throughout the program, students are closely supervised and mentored by faculty. Students are expected to prepare presentations about their work, for delivery in the final week of RUSIS and sometimes in national meetings.</p> <p> RUSIS has drawn on local research centers by, for example, inviting researchers from the MD Anderson Cancer Center to speak to the students and by having students spend a day touring NASA&#39;s Johnson Space Center.</p> <p> With its combination of inspirational mentoring, intellectual challenges, and practical information, RUSIS has made a big difference in the lives of many students who otherwise might not have considered doctoral work in the mathematical sciences.</p> <p> The <a href="/notices/201405/rnoti-p532.pdf">official announcement of the awards</a>, including the selection committee&#39;s citation, appears in the May 2014 issue of the <em>Notices of the AMS</em>.</p> <p> Find out <a href="/programs/diversity/citation2014">more about this award</a> and <a href="/profession/prizes-awards/prizes">other AMS awards and prizes</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> * * * * *</p> <p> <br /> Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, today the more than 30,000 member American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life.</p> Math and Statistics Department at Williams College Receives AMS National Award Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EST <p> <a href="/images/exemplary-2014-small.jpg"><img alt="2013 SMALL program participants" src="/images/thumbs/exemplary-2014-small.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 67px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 1px; margin-right: 1px; float: left;" /></a>The <strong>Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Williams College</strong> is the 2014 recipient of the AMS Award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department. The department is honored for &quot;excellence in providing exceptional teaching and research experiences for its students, as well as those in the wider mathematical community.&quot; (Photo of 2013 SMALL participants by Cesar E. Silva.)<!-- AMSNEWSBREAK --></p> <p> <strong>Francis Edward Su</strong> of Harvey Mudd College, who served as chair of the award selection committee, said, &quot;The Williams College math program is recognized for excelling in two cornerstone areas: teaching and undergraduate research. As a result, they have had enormous success in attracting all majors to take math and statistics courses, in publishing texts that have had influence beyond Williams, and in providing math students with exciting experiences of discovery through their long-running REU.&quot; (Research Experiences for Undergraduates.)</p> <p> The Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Williams College has distinguished itself in many ways. First and foremost, it delivers outstanding teaching---so outstanding in fact, although there is no math or statistics requirement at Williams, 84 percent of students in recent graduating classes have completed a course in mathematics or statistics. These courses are so effective that the Williams math major is booming: About 1 of every 8 Williams students major in mathematics (67 majors, a significant increase since 6 in 1985). Many of the faculty have received awards for outstanding teaching.</p> <p> The department is also very serious about research. Since 2000, department faculty have been awarded a total of 12 National Science Foundation research grants and have published on average a total of 19 journal articles per year. The Williams mathematicians and statisticians are in demand as speakers outside the college, delivering each year nearly 200 talks at conferences and other institutions.</p> <p> Research in the department is closely tied to interactions with students, and the synergy the two create reaches its pinnacle with SMALL, the department&#39;s REU program. Now more than 25 years old, SMALL is one of the best known and most successful REUs in the nation. It runs for nine weeks over the summer and brings in about 30 students, some of them from Williams, some from other schools around the nation, and even some from abroad. Many of the SMALL students produce research that has been published in professional journals. In recent years, SMALL has made concerted and successful efforts to bring in more students from minorities underrepresented in the mathematical sciences.</p> <p> The department also works to enhance participation of underrepresented groups through its Summer Science Program for freshman. SSP is not a remedial program; the SSP participants are talented, high-achieving individuals. But some of them come to Williams with the idea that they have to &quot;go it alone.&quot; The main goal of SSP is to help them develop an academic community they can rely on as they progress through college. This community spirit actually ends up benefiting the non-SSP students, as the SSP students often serve as effective peer role models. The majority of SSP participants opt for science-related majors, and a large number enroll in a mathematics course. Some have gone on to complete the mathematics major.</p> <p> On top of all this, the department also offers a wide range of activities that help build a community centered on mathematics. Among these are weekly problem-solving dinners, monthly dinners for students and faculty, and an Ice Cream Social in which new students get informal course advising from older students. Students also have the opportunity to attend conferences, including the Joint Mathematics Meetings and the Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, of which the Williams department is one of the founders.</p> <p> The Williams College Department of Mathematics and Statistics does so many things so well that it has become a true leader within the mathematical sciences community and an inspiration for departments across the nation.</p> <p> Presented annually by the AMS, the Award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department recognizes a college or university mathematics department that has distinguished itself by undertaking an unusual or particularly effective program of value to the mathematics community, internally or in relation to the rest of society. Since it was first given in 2006, the award has highlighted outstanding mathematics departments in a wide variety of institutions around the country.</p> <p> The <a href="/notices/201405/rnoti-p517.pdf">official announcement of the award to Williams College </a>appears in the May 2014 issue of the <em>Notices of the AMS</em> along with <a href="/notices/201405/rnoti-p518.pdf">an additional article about the department</a>.</p> <p> <a href="/profession/prizes-awards/ams-awards/department-award">Find out more about this and other AMS awards</a>.<br /> <br /> [% ams_include('pao-contact') %]</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> * * * * *</p> <p> <br /> Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, today the more than 30,000 member American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life.</p> AMS at USASEF 2014 Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EST <p> <strong>April 25-27:</strong> AMS will host an activity at the <a href="">2014 USA Science &amp;&nbsp; Engineering Festival</a>, Washington DC. Visit booth 4114.</p> Paul Sally Honored for Impact on Education Thu, 10 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EST <p> <a href="/images/impact-2014-sally.jpg"><img alt="Paul Sally" src="/images/thumbs/impact-2014-sally.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 67px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 1px; margin-right: 1px; float: left;" /></a><strong>Paul J. Sally, Jr.</strong>, of the University of Chicago, has been awarded the first AMS Award for Impact on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics. Sally passed away unexpectedly on December 30, 2013, but news of the award reached him shortly before his death. He took great pleasure in knowing that he was the first recipient of this prestigious award. (Photo by Jason Smith.)<!-- AMSNEWSBREAK --></p> <p> Established in 2013 by the AMS Committee on Education, the award is given annually to a mathematician (or group of mathematicians) who has made significant contributions of lasting value to mathematics education. The endowment fund that supports the award was established by a contribution from <strong>Kenneth I. and Mary Lou Gross</strong> in honor of their daughters, Laura and Karen.</p> <p> Dr. Gross, a mathematician at the University of Vermont, had this to say: &quot;Paul Sally was a remarkable human being, unique for his accomplishments across the full spectrum of mathematics, from pioneering research contributions and advising of doctoral students to his work with talented middle school students and with K-12 teachers. No one is more deserving of being the inaugural recipient of this award. He sets the highest standard for those who will follow.&quot;</p> <p> Tall, bald, and wearing a black eye patch (he lost his vision to diabetes), Paul Sally was sometimes called &quot;Professor Pirate.&quot; His jocular and even light-hearted manner coexisted easily with the steely will and no-nonsense approach he brought to his work. Heart and soul a teacher, he had a special gift for communicating mathematics to a wide range of people.</p> <p> Sally combined cutting-edge research with a parallel life-long commitment to education at all levels. As director of undergraduate studies in mathematics at the University of Chicago for over thirty years, he was a leading voice in the undergraduate program. But what truly distinguishes Sally and makes him an ideal recipient of the first AMS Impact Award is his work with teachers and students at the precollege level, which began in the 1960s and continued unabated until the day of his death.</p> <p> Among his most important contributions are the Seminars for Elementary Specialists and Mathematics Educators (SESAME), a program designed to strengthen the mathematical background of teachers in the Chicago Public Schools, the second largest school district in the US, and the Young Scholars Program (YSP) for talented high school students from underprivileged backgrounds. Sally also cofounded and served as Director of the University of Chicago School Mathematics Program (UCSMP), which has had a major national impact; spearheaded the founding of the Chicago Algebra Initiative; and led the mathematics component of Chicago&#39;s Urban Teacher Education Program (UTEP).</p> <p> Along with publishing many research papers and authoring several books, Sally produced 19 PhD students in his area of research, harmonic analysis on semisimple groups over real and p-adic fields. He was very active in the AMS, serving for example on the Board of Trustees, the Committee on Science Policy, and the Council. An endowment created by Sally provides part of the funding for the Arnold Ross Lectures that the AMS sponsors each year.</p> <p> Sally received several awards for his work, including the <a href="/notices/200004/comm-pubserv.pdf">Distinguished Service Award of the AMS (2000)</a> and the <a href="">Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics</a> of the Mathematical Association of America (2002). He was a member of the inaugural class of Fellows of the AMS in 2012.</p> <p> The <a href="/notices/201405/rnoti-p515.pdf">official announcement of the award to Sally</a>, including the selection committee&#39;s citation, appears in the May 2014 issue of the <em>Notices of the AMS</em>.</p> <p> <a href="/profession/prizes-awards/prizes">Find out more about this and other AMS awards</a>.<br /> <br /> [% ams_include('pao-contact') %]</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> * * * * *</p> <p> Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, today the 30,000 member American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life.</p> Huerta to Give 2014 Conant Lecture at WPI Wed, 09 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EST <a href="/images/Huerta_John2.jpg"><img alt="" src="/images/thumbs/Huerta_John2.jpg" style="width: 84px; height: 100px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 4px; margin-right: 4px; float: left;" /></a> <p> <strong>John Huerta</strong>, Centre for Mathematical Analysis, Geometry, and Dynamical Systems, Instituto Superior T&eacute;cnico, Lisbon, will give a lecture entitled &quot;Symmetry in Mathematics and Physics&rdquo; at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) on April 18 at 3 pm.<!-- AMSNEWSBREAK --></p> <p> Huerta will explore the fascinating tale of symmetry, from its codification into a powerful tool called group theory by mathematicians in the 19th century, to its rise to the center of fundamental physics in the 20th century, and its evolution and influence today.</p> <p> The lecture is part of WPI&#39;s Levi L. Conant Lecture Series. The public lecture series, featuring <a href="/profession/prizes-awards/ams-prizes/conant-prize">Conant Prize</a> winners, is sponsored by WPI and hosted by the Institute&#39;s Department of Mathematical Sciences. The department has posted <a a="" href="">more information.</a></p> Turing Award to Leslie Lamport Tue, 01 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EST <p> <strong>Leslie Lamport</strong> (Microsoft Research), who developed LaTeX, is the recipient of the Association for Computing Machinery&#39;s (ACM) 2013 A.M. Turing Award &quot;For fundamental contributions to the theory and practice of distributed and concurrent systems, notably the invention of concepts such as causality and logical clocks, safety and liveness, replicated state machines, and sequential consistency.&quot; The award carries with it a $250,000 cash prize. <!-- AMSNEWSBREAK -->Lamport received his PhD in mathematics from Brandeis University under the direction of Richard Palais and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. Regarding Lamport&#39;s work, ACM President Vint Cerf said, &quot;as an applied mathematician, Leslie Lamport had an extraordinary sense of how to apply mathematical tools to important practical problems. By finding useful ways to write specifications and prove correctness of realistic algorithms, assuring strong foundation for complex computing operations, he helped to move verification from an academic discipline to practical tool.&quot; Lamport will receive the award at the ACM&#39;s Awards Banquet in June. <a href="">Read more about Lamport and the Turing Award</a>.</p> Yakov Sinai Wins 2014 Abel Prize Wed, 26 Mar 2014 00:00:00 EST <p> <strong><a href="/images/abel2014-sinai.jpg"><img alt="Yakov G. Sinai" src="/images/thumbs/abel2014-sinai.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 74px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; float: left;" /></a>Yakov G. Sinai</strong>, Princeton University and the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, is being awarded the 2014 Abel Prize &quot;for his fundamental contributions to dynamical systems, ergodic theory, and mathematical physics.&quot; Sinai received the <a href="/notices/201304/rnoti-p480.pdf">AMS Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 2013</a> and is a Fellow of the AMS. (Photo: Princeton University Department of Mathematics.) <!-- AMSNEWSBREAK --></p> <p> The Abel Prize Committee cites Sinai&rsquo;s discovery of surprising connections between order and chaos and his development of the use of probability and measure theory in the study of dynamical systems. The citation continues: &ldquo;His achievements include seminal works in ergodic theory, which studies the tendency of a system to explore all of its available states according to certain time statistics; and statistical mechanics, which explores the behavior of systems composed of a very large number of particles, such as molecules in a gas... Sinai has trained and influenced a generation of leading specialists in his research fields.&quot; Among his other awards are the Wolf Prize in Mathematics (1997), the Nemmers Prize in Mathematics (2002), the Henri Poincar&eacute; Prize from the International Association of Mathematical Physics (2009), and the Dobrushin International Prize from the Institute of Information Transmission of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2009).<br /> <br /> <em>On behalf of the American Mathematical Society, it is a great pleasure to congratulate Yakov Sinai of Princeton University and the Landau Institute, recipient of the 2014 Abel Prize. Sinai&#39;s work has changed our understanding of change; his influence can be seen from number theory to physics. Congratulations!</em><br /> <strong>David Vogan</strong>, AMS President</p> <p> The Abel Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and recognizes contributions of extraordinary depth and influence to the mathematical sciences. Awarded annually since 2003, the prize carries a cash award of NOK 6,000,000 (approximately one million US). Sinai will receive the prize at an award ceremony in Oslo on May 20. <a href=" ">Read more about Yakov Sinai, his achievements, and the Abel Prize</a>.</p> Levin Awarded $200,000 Tyler Prize Mon, 24 Mar 2014 00:00:00 EST <p> <a href="/images/Levin-Tyler-2014.jpg"><img alt="Simon Levin" src="/images/thumbs/Levin-Tyler-2014.jpg" style="width: 69px; height: 100px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; float: left;" /></a><strong>Simon A. Levin</strong>, Princeton University, has been awarded the 2014 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement for his research revealing the complexity of, and relationships between, species and ecosystems. The prize citation notes that &quot;Fundamentally, Levin&rsquo;s work on theoretical ecology--ecology based on mathematical modeling--has helped to put environmental research into context and provide a big picture for understanding our environment.&quot; (Photo: Princeton University.) <!-- AMSNEWSBREAK -->Levin received his PhD in mathematics from the University of Maryland in 1964. He won the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences in 2005 and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and SIAM (the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics). Levin&nbsp; is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has served as president of the Society for Mathematical Biology and the Ecological Society of America. Levin says of his work: &quot;I started as a mathematician who wanted to use math to make the world a better place... Environmental degradation was a huge concern for me. Eventually, I realized the complexity we see in nature can offer incredibly valuable lessons for more than individual environmental problems; this work also translates to everything from the relationships among banks to the prospects of international collaboration to addressing climate change.&quot; The Tyler Prize is awarded by the Tyler Prize Executive Committee with the administrative support of the University of Southern California, and honors exceptional foresight and dedication in the environmental sciences. <a href="">Read more about Levin&#39;s work and the Tyler Prize</a>.</p> Tapia Receives Vannevar Bush Award Fri, 21 Mar 2014 00:00:00 EST <p> <strong><a href="/images/Tapia-Bush-2014.jpg"><img alt="Richard Tapia" src="/images/thumbs/Tapia-Bush-2014.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 81px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 1px; margin-right: 1px; float: left;" /></a>Richard Tapia</strong>, Rice University, who has been a leader in mentoring underrepresented groups in mathematics and other fields, will receive the 2014 Vannevar Bush Award from the National Science Board (NSB). The chair of the NSB&#39;s Committee on Honorary Awards, Ruth Davis, said that Tapia&#39;s &quot;long-term commitment and success sharing the excitement and relevance of mathematics and computer science with inner-city high school students and other members of the public is inspirational.&quot; (Photo: Rice University.)<!-- AMSNEWSBREAK --> Tapia, a member of the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice, has also won the <a href="/notices/201201/rtx120100052p.pdf">National Medal of Science</a> and the <a href="/notices/200404/comm-publserv.pdf">AMS Distinguished Public Service Award</a>, and was the first Hispanic elected to the National Academy of Engineering (1992). In 2010 the department received the <a href="/programs/diversity/citation2010">AMS Mathematics Programs That Make a Difference Award</a> due in part to his leadership directing doctoral students from underrepresented groups. In his response to receiving the Vannevar Bush Award, Tapia said: &quot;The individuals selected for this award represent the nation&#39;s finest and most effective science leaders. Hence it gives me great pride and happiness to be included in such a distinguished group.&quot; He will receive the award in a ceremony on May 6. Read more in <a href=";org=NSB&amp;from=news">this press release</a>.</p> Mathematics Projects Win Second and Third in 2014 ISTS Thu, 13 Mar 2014 00:00:00 EST <p> <a href="/images/intel-2014.jpg"><img alt="Top three finishers in 2014 ISTS" src="/images/thumbs/intel-2014.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 72px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 1px; margin-right: 1px; float: left;" /></a>Mathematics projects were selected for two of the top three places in the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search. <strong>Kevin Lee</strong> (center), Irvine, CA, won second place and $75,000 for his mathematical model based on fluid mechanics that describes the shape of the heart as it beats. <strong>William Henry Kuszmaul</strong> (left) of Lexington, MA won third place and $50,000 for developing a new approach to modular enumeration. (Photo courtesy of the Society for Science &amp; the Public.) <!-- AMSNEWSBREAK --><strong>Eric S. Chen</strong> (right) of San Diego won the top award of $100,000 for his research into potential new drugs to treat influenza. The Intel Science Talent Search is a science research competition for high school seniors funded by the Intel Foundation and administered by the Society for Science &amp; the Public. Read more about <a href="">this year&#39;s Intel Science Talent Search</a>.</p>