Saturday, November 16, 2013

OSU Math Awards Ceremony 2010


On April 27, 2010 the mathematics department held its annual awards ceremony. Preceding the presentation of the awards and scholarships a reception was held in the department lounge. Award recipients, their family members and friends, mathematics faculty and graduate students were in attendance.

Undergraduate Student Awards

Each year several undergraduates spend a Saturday in December attempting to solve some difficult mathematics problems in the William Lowell Putnam competition. The top scorer in the nation receives a fellowship to study at Harvard. The OSU undergraduate getting the highest score in 2009 was Markus Vasquez. In recognition he received a book chosen by Professor David Wright, Street-Fighting Mathematics: The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving.
OSU undergraduates participated in other competition as well. Two teams of three students spent an extended weekend working on one of two applied problems for the Mathematics Contest in Modeling. At the Oklahoma-Arkansas MAA Section Meeting held at John Brown University undergraduate students competed in math jeopardy and in an integration bee. Tyler Eckert took second place and is shown at the right receiving a certificate of recognition from Professor Jeff Mermin.
One of the pleasant but sometimes difficult tasks that the faculty complete each year is the choice of the Outstanding Senior Mathematics Major. This year Lauren Smith was chosen for this honor. Lauren graduated with honors and completed her honors thesis on tessellations. She presented her work at the MAA meeting.
The department has some scholarship money that is distributed to the top mathematics students in each class, sophomore, junior and senior. The funds are from earnings on three endowments, Professor Emeritus, Hazel Bucy and the Mathematics General Scholarship Fund. A complete list of the recipients is contained in program. Below are pictures of two groups of the recipients. Matthew Swartz, Nan Butler, and Lauren Smith are on the left and Robert Graves, Tyler Eckert, and Kevin Carrington are on the right. Each year the Bill and Jane Enger Foundation provides a scholarship to a student who has succeeded after overcoming some difficulties. Kit Davis was chosen for this award. A new scholarship for outstanding students interested in mathematics education was made available this year through a gift by Emeritus Professor John Wolfe. The scholarship was not ready in time for the ceremony but later Kendra League and Megan Reichert were selected.

Graduate Student Awards

Two of the graduate awards are named in honor of Jeanne Agnew who was a faculty member for many years. One is for the teaching assistant who is selected as the best for the year. This year Toshihisa Kubo was chosen for the award. Toshi is an advanced Ph.D. student who is studying representation theory. The second is a fellowship which is intended to encourage presentations by the recipient at professional meetings. The fellowship was awarded to Dhanapati Adhikari and Juhyung Lee, who are expecting to finish their Ph.D. degrees in about a year. Adhikari works in the area of partial differential equations and Lee works in representation theory.
The graduate student who has done the best in his topology courses is selected to receive the O.H. Hamilton Award. The award is named for an OSU faculty member who worked in point-set topology for many years. Lizhi Chen (left) was chosen for this award. The E.K. McLachlan Award goes to the student who performed the best on the recent doctoral exams. Xiaowei Yang (right) is the winner this year. The Carol and John Jobe Fellowship is given to a student who will be starting graduate school in mathematics in the fall. Marcus Mace will be receiving this fellowship. The Schiller Scroggs Distinguished Graduate Fellowship is awarded to a student who has demonstrated both scholarly attainment and leadership. Melissa Mills was selected for this honor. Mills is a Ph.D. student in mathematics education.
At the end of the awards presentations Professor Dale Alspach called Emeritus Professor John Wolfe to the front and presented him with a retirement plaque. Professor Wolfe was surprised because he had actually retired a few years earlier.