Six UNL mathematicians have been invited to join a prestigious national organization's inaugural class of fellows. The first class of American Mathematical Society (AMS) Fellows includes Luchezar Avramov, Jim Lewis, David Manderscheid, Judy Walker, Roger Wiegand and Sylvia Wiegand.
"The selection of six members of our faculty for this honor is evidence of the strength of UNL's Department of Mathematics. Only 62 institutions worldwide had five or more fellows – including 11 of our peer CIC institutions," said Ellen Weissinger, Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. "This is a powerful validation of the importance of the work being accomplished by our mathematics faculty. It is a privilege to have these six outstanding scholars among our colleagues."
The inaugural class of AMS Fellows includes individuals who are members of the society who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication and use of mathematics. The society has a total membership of more than 30,000. The inaugural class includes 1,119 fellows representing more than 600 institutions.
"The new AMS Fellows Program recognizes some of the most accomplished mathematicians — AMS members who have contributed to our understanding of deep and important mathematical questions, to applications throughout the scientific world and to educational excellence," said AMS President Eric M. Friedlander.
One of the top commutative algebraists in the world, Avramov has given more than 130 talks in 25 countries and has published 100 research papers. Included among his talks are two plenary addresses at AMS meetings. He has had 17 doctoral students. His research has been continuously funded by the National Science Foundation since coming to the U.S. in 1991 from his native Bulgaria. Avramov was named the Dale Jensen Chair in Mathematics in 2002.
In more than 40 years at UNL, Lewis, director of the Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education, has established a distinguished reputation locally and nationally as a dedicated and inspiring educator. He has led efforts to build partnerships with Nebraska school districts to significantly enhance the mathematical education of K-12 teachers and has attracted more than $18 million in grants to support teacher-training programs. Among many honors across his career, he was named Aaron Douglas Professor of Mathematics and, in 2010, the Nebraska CASE Professor of the Year.
Manderscheid, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is an internationally recognized number theorist and has won numerous awards for his teaching. He has held visiting positions at the University of Paris, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, Calif. He also serves on the board of directors of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences.
Walker, chair of the Department of Mathematics, is a past recipient of the Haimo Award, recognizing her as one of the nation's most outstanding mathematics teachers. She was an elected member of the Council of the American Mathematical Society and for two years she was a George Polya Lecturer. Her research in coding theory has been continuously funded by the NSF. She has attracted more than $4.8 million in NSF grants to support the department's Mentoring through Critical Transition Points program and was named Aaron Douglas Professor of Mathematics in 2012.
Roger Wiegand, Willa Cather Professor of Mathematics, joined the UNL mathematics faculty in 1972. During his career he has received 19 grants from the NSF and two grants from the National Security Agency to support his research into commutative algebra. He also is responsible for more than $2.2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education to support graduate education in mathematics. He has published 77 research papers, supervised 15 doctoral students and given more than 180 talks.
Sylvia Wiegand also has been a major contributor to UNL's commutative algebra group. She has more than 50 publications and has given a plenary address at an AMS meeting. She has been a prominent national leader in the mathematics profession, serving as national president of the Association for Women in Mathematics and an elected member of the Council of the American Mathematical Society.
For program details, visit http://www.ams.org/profession/ams-fellows.
-Lindsay Augustyn and Jean Jones