The American Mathematical Society (AMS) is honoring Rice’s Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics (CAAM) with a 2010 Mathematics Programs That Make a Difference Award. The annual award is given to programs that do an outstanding job of bringing more individuals from underrepresented minority groups into the mathematical sciences.
Rice’s Sallie Keller, dean of engineering, said the recognition is well-deserved.
“CAAM has truly mastered the integration of research and education,” she said. “The reputation and reach of the department’s faculty greatly exceeds its size, and the commitment to diversity among CAAM faculty and students is a beautiful example for others to follow.”
In announcing the award, AMS cited CAAM as one of the most successful departments in the nation in mentoring and graduating doctoral students from underrepresented minority groups. In the past 25 years, CAAM has awarded doctorates to 34 students who are underrepresented minorities. In the same span, the department also has awarded doctorates to 43 women.
AMS also cited the interdisciplinary nature of the department as playing a key a role in making CAAM attractive to students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in mathematics.
Keller said CAAM’s success in both research and education stems from the strength of its faculty. Two of its faculty — Richard Tapia, University Professor and the Maxfield-Oshman Professor in Computational and Applied Mathematics, and Robert Bixby, the Noah Harding Professor Emeritus of Computational and Applied Mathematics — are members of the National Academy of Engineering. In addition, four CAAM faculty are fellows of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. They are Tapia; William Symes, the Noah Harding Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics; John Dennis, the Noah Harding Professor Emeritus of Computational and Applied Mathematics; and Danny Sorensen, the Noah Harding Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics.
More information about AMS’s 2010 Mathematics Programs That Make a Difference Award is available at http://www.ams.org/employment/citation2010.html.