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Release: April 20, 1999

Gelca wins Spriestersbach Dissertation Prize in mathematics

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Razvan Gelca, who earned a doctorate in mathematics in 1997 from the University of Iowa, has been awarded the 1998 D.C. Spriestersbach Dissertation Prize for excellence in doctoral research in mathematics. As the recipient of the UI graduate council's highly coveted prize, Gelca was presented with $2,500 and a certificate by UI President Mary Sue Coleman at a reception March 25.

Gelca's dissertation is "Problems in Topology and Operator Theory." His thesis advisors were Charles Frohman and Raul Curto.

Gelca, an international student from Rumania, received his undergraduate diploma in mathematics from the University of Timisoara and his master's degree from the University of Bucharest. He won the Outstanding Teaching Award at the UI in 1997 and has won numerous awards in mathematics, including first prize in the International Mathematical Olympiad in Helsinki in 1985, and First Prize in the Romanian National Mathematical Student Contest in 1986 and 1987.

Funds for the D.C. Spriestersbach Dissertation Prize are provided by the UI Foundation. The prize is awarded annually on a rotating basis in two of four broad disciplinary areas: humanities and fine arts, mathematical and physical sciences, social sciences, and biological sciences.

The award is named for D.C. Spriestersbach, UI vice president emeritus for educational development and research and former dean of the Graduate College. The competitive award requires "highly original work that is an unusually significant contribution to the nominee's field."

Winners of the Spriestersbach Prize also become the UI's nominee for the Council of Graduate Schools Dissertation Prize, a national award. Three UI doctoral recipients have won that national competition in recent years, including Susan Behrends Frank, art and art history, who was last year's Spriestersbach dissertation award winner in the humanities and fine arts. The UI is the only college or university with three national winners.