Math Department Announces Award Winners

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas mathematics department recently recognized its undergraduate and graduate students and faculty for outstanding academic and teaching achievements at its 60th annual honors banquet.

Two students received certificates and Jayhawk statues from the Kansas Algebra Program for their outstanding contributions to teaching, tutoring and extra duties. Winners were Morgan Cahill, a senior in biology from Rossville, and Rachel North, a senior in journalism from Overland Park.

KU's math department annually recognizes outstanding graduate students.

Kyle Claassen, Wichita, received the Florence Black Award for Excellence in Teaching by a graduate student. The award was established in memory of Black, a faculty member who served from 1918 to 1960.

Cuong Ngo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, received the John Bunce Award. The Bunce award commemorates a KU math professor who served from 1970 to 1991 and his extraordinary concern for the welfare and intellectual development of graduate students.

Brent Holmes, Cordova, Tennessee, and Hongjuan Zhou, Overland Park, each received the Paul F. Conrad Graduate Scholarship. This award is given in Conrad's memory to provide awards for deserving graduate students in mathematics. In 1981, Conrad was the first Henry J. Bischoff Professor of Mathematics at KU.

Cassidy Krause, Algoma, Wisconsin, received the Ralph Byers Student Award. This award is presented to outstanding graduate students in numerical analysis in memory of Professor Ralph Byers. Byers was a faculty member in the department from 1987 to 2007.

Two new awards were introduced this year: the Charles J. and Mary Pat Himmelberg Graduate Student Award and the R.D. Brown Award for Undergraduate Excellence.

The first recipient of the Charles J. and Mary Pat Himmelberg Graduate Student Award is Arturo Jaramillo Gil from Guanajuato, Mexico. This award was established by a gift from the family of Charlie and Mary Pat Himmelberg. The award is used to support graduate students with merit in the mathematics department. Himmelberg was a faculty member of the department from 1959 to 2005 and served as chairman for more than 20 years.

The R.D. Brown Award for Undergraduate Excellence was given to Ransheng Guan, a senior in mathematics from Shenyang, China. This award was established in memory of Professor Robert Brown by gifts from his family and friends to provide awards for a senior majoring in mathematics who has demonstrated the most impressive overall achievement in the field of mathematics during his or her undergraduate career. Brown was a faculty member from 1963 to 2009 and served as associate chair and director of undergraduate studies.

Rodolfo Torres, professor of mathematics, received the G. Baley Price award for Excellence in Teaching, presented by the Mathematics Graduate Student Organization. This award is given to a faculty member who displays the greatest ability and effectiveness in teaching graduate math courses.

Torres was also presented with the Morrison Foundation Teaching Award. This award was established in 2008 by the Don and Pat Morrison Foundation to recognize outstanding teaching in mathematics.

Albert Sheu, professor of mathematics, received the Max Wells Teaching Award in recognition of outstanding or exemplary teaching in the field of mathematics by a KU faculty member in mathematics. 

Undergraduate students were recognized for their participation in math competitions. Winners of these competitions were announced before the banquet and were presented checks at the banquet.

This year, the department presented $110,250 in awards and scholarships. Award winners are announced in the spring, and scholarship recipients will be announced in the fall. Funds for the awards and scholarships are administered through the KU Endowment Association.