Honors & Awards

The American Mathematics Society (AMS) has just published a text called, Towards Excellence@mdash;Leading a Mathematics Department in the 21st Century. This text is a report of the AMS Task Force on Excellence in Mathematics Scholarship, which was composed of twelve recognized national leaders in mathematics education. In this report, Virginia Tech was one of just a few colleges and universities cited for their successful undergraduate program and teaching innovations. The "Towards Excellence" link will take you to a segment of this report that discusses and lauds the Mathematics Emporium at Virginia Tech. (Click on Chapter 13 and scroll to P131.) The Mathematics Emporium is a unique learning community in an environment that includes 500 computers. Recently more than 25 Fortune 500 companies sent their CEO<92>s or representatives to listen to a presentation describing our programs in the Emporium. The national interest is centered on the innovative ways the technology environment is used to foster active learning by the students. Our Emporium leaders are being inundated with national and international requests to give talks and information sessions. As of now, we know of two actual Emporiums at other schools being constructed on our model. If you want further Emporium information beyond the above "Towards Excellence" link, you can also go to our Emporium Home Page.

National respect for our undergraduate program also comes from awards and recognition of the accomplishments of our students. Among our Mathematics students the past five years we have had a Math Olympiad semi-finalist, three national Goldwater Scholars, an honorable-mention USA Today Academic All-American, and, of course, the highlight was Mark Embree, our Rhodes Scholar. These wonderful students could have had their choice of schools, but you can be sure that they are happy with their educational experience here. (So, too, are the students who had to work hard just to graduate.)

Prof. Terry Herdman is the Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Applied Mathematics (ICAM) at Virginia Tech. ICAM was established in August 1987 to promote and facilitate interdisciplinary research and education in applied mathematics at Virginia Tech. ICAM received its first grant in 1988, for $1,369,560 for research in "An Integrated Research Program for the Modeling, Analysis and Control of Aerospace Systems." Undergraduate Education has played a large role in ICAM's activities, with several students being directed in undergraduate research projects by ICAM members. Prof. Herdman is also Vice President for Education of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), an international organization of mathematicians and scientists from industry, government, and education. Through SIAM, Prof. Herdman is carrying mathematical innovation at Virginia Tech to the nation. This mathematics in industry link will allow you to learn more of his activities in this prominent position.

Prof. Bud Brown won the WV, VA, DC Regional Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Teacher of the Year Award in 2000, and Dr. Brown also was the first person to win for two consecutive years the George Polya Award for the outstanding paper in the MAA's College Mathematics Journal.

Faculty research permeates down through undergraduate education via coursework and individual undergraduate research activities. You can see the national respect for the research of our faculty in our Research Interests of Faculty handbook. There you will see a great diversity of mathematical work being done in several applied areas. You can also check on the prestige of the journals to verify the high caliber of this work and the respect given the work by national leaders in the various branches of mathematical activity. Another gauge of the esteem of research activity is the amount of external grants that supported it. Currently our faculty have 64 grants in progress with a cumulative value of nearly 7 million dollars. The grantors included such prestigious organizations as the National Science Foundation, the National Security Agency, the Offices of Naval and Air Force Research, Departments of Education (both national and Virginia), the PEW Charitable Trust, the Sloan Foundation, the American Mathematical Society, and the Eisenhower Foundation. As far as national recognition for the research of individual Virginia Tech Mathematics faculty members, Drs. Michael Renardy and Yuriko Renardy hold the Virginia Tech Class of 1950 Professorships. Michael was previously a Young Presidential Investigator, and Yuriko is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Moreover, two of our younger faculty, Drs. Jeff Borggaard and Gwen Lloyd have won five-year the Presidential Career Award and the NSF Directorate of Education Career Awards, respectively.

Dr. John Burns has been selected as a Fellow of the Institute of Electronics and Electrical engineers, and Dr. Frank Quinn has been selected as a Fellow of the American Association fro the Advancement of Science.