Math department announces award winners

Mon, 07/22/2013


Lori Springs
Department of Mathematics

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas mathematics department recognized its undergraduate and graduate students and faculty for outstanding academic and teaching achievements at its 56th annual honors banquet earlier this spring at the KU Adams Alumni Center. 

This year the math department presented $88,750 in awards and scholarships. Award winners are announced in the spring. Scholarship recipients will be announced in the fall. Funds for the awards and scholarships are administered through the KU Endowment Association.

Two students received certificates and Jayhawk statues from the Kansas Algebra Program for their outstanding contributions to teaching, tutoring and extra duties. Winners were Meghan Park, of Overland Park, and Zach Zwibelman, of Leawood.

KU's math department annually recognizes outstanding graduate students.

Lucas Chaffee, Kirkland, Wash., 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.

Jarod Hart, Hortonville, Wis., 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. 

Mohamed Badawy, of Lawrence, Daniel Harnett, Coffeyville, and Mingji Zhang, China, received the Paul F. Conrad Graduate Scholarship. This award is given in his memory. Conrad was the first Henry J. Bischoff Professor of Mathematics.

Coung Ngo, Vietnam, received the Ralph Byers Student Award, which commemorates a KU math professor who served from 1987-2007.  The award is presented to an outstanding graduate student in numerical analysis.

Jeremy Martin, associate 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.

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

David Lerner, 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.

Finally, this was the 31st year of the annual mathematics prize examinations given by the mathematics department. This competition is open to all undergraduates at KU. The winners of the Junior Level Prize Competition were Christopher Mayo, Clay Center, for first place; Robert Winslow, Olathe, for second place, and Yuanxiang Feng, Lenexa, for third. Mayo also won the top freshman award. The winners for the Senior Level Prize Competition were Bryan Harris and Hao Wang, China, tied for first place; and CJ Harries, Wichita, and Michael Agre, Overland Park, tied for third. 

This past week, new Jayhawks moved in and started their first semester at KU. Madisen Pool, a freshman in computer engineering, captured one of his first sunrises on the Hill. With a fresh start, and a feeling of accomplishment for starting college, Pool thought this view was a great reminder to enjoy life. We asked Pool what his advice would be to his fellow new Jayhawks and he said, "make your time here at the university memorable. Have fun, do something you’ve always wanted to do, meet new people, and most importantly get the most out of your experience and shape your life the way you want it to be. Rock Chalk!" We couldn't agree more. Rock Chalk, Madisen! Show us your new experiences with the hashtag, #exploreKU.

How will you #exploreKU on your day off?
KU student tricks monkey flower into growing protective ‘hair’ Thanks to a KU Undergraduate Research Award (see more at, Sukhindervir Sandhu, a KU junior in biochemistry, figured out which genetic button to push to get a monkey flower, or Mimulus guttatus, to grow protective trichomes, or plant hair. Sandhu was able to track it down to a gene called SKP-1. By silencing SKP-1, he discovered that gene regulates plant hair growth in monkey flowers.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
$260.5 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times