The Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics (CAAM) will recognize graduating seniors for outstanding creative contributions with the award of Distinction in Research and Creative Works in CAAM. Application procedures and standards for this Distinction can be found here.
The annual CAAM-Chevron Prizes for Computational and Applied Mathematics Majors and Minors are awarded for a particularly outstanding performance in a class, notable contributions in undergraduate research, or excellence in outreach activity. These Prizes were established in 2009. Recipients are nominated.
The Michael Ross Franco Award is given to Rice undergraduates who are exemplary computational and applied math students. This award was created by Michael Franco’s family in honor of Michael and to celebrate students who share Michael’s passion for CAAM.
Michael Ross Franco graduated from McMurtry College at Rice University in 2014 with a double major in computational applied math and math. At the start of his senior year, Michael was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, which necessitated intense chemotherapy for 8 months. However, despite this treatment, Michael’s passion for his CAAM work drove him to complete his course work and graduate on-time alongside his classmates. Michael's senior design project, under Rice Professor Tim Warburton and UT MD Anderson Assistant Professor Dr. David Fuentes, assisted in the development of a prototype therapy-modeling tool for MRI-guided laser ablations to treat brain tumors.
After graduation and during the remainder of his cancer treatment, Michael worked at BP’s Center for High-Performance Computing, where he helped improve BP's parallel methods for acoustic wave propagation. In Fall 2016, Michael joined the Applied Mathematics PhD program in the UC Berkeley Department of Mathematics. At Berkeley, he is focusing on developing high-order methods for the numerical solutions of PDEs. Michael is an award recipient of National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
Michael and his family hope that this award inspires its recipients to tenaciously pursue their passions and continue to excel in their CAAM studies.