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Release: Jan. 24, 2002

UI Math Department Holds Annual King Celebration Jan 25

The Committee for Minority Student Recruitment and Development in the University of Iowa department of mathematics will hold its second annual Martin Luther King Celebration from 3:30-5 p.m. Friday, January 25, 2002 in Room W401 of the John Pappajohn Business Building.

William Massey, Edwin S. Wilsey Professor at Princeton University, will be the featured speaker. Massey, a distinguished African-American mathematician, is an expert in the fields of operations research and financial engineering.

The event, free and open to the public, is a celebration of the department's success in achieving a diverse and inclusive graduate student community which, with a population consisting of 25 percent U.S. minority students, is one of the most diverse in the country. The celebration is also an opportunity to inform the public about the accomplishments of departmental graduate students as well as to announce future initiatives and goals. The achievements of several graduate students will be highlighted, and recent successes will be discussed, among them the establishment of a community-based fund for the support of departmental diversity activities.

The present diversity of the department of mathematics has been achieved by a variety of means, among them support by the U.S. Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program. Over the past decade, the UI has won four GAANN grants totaling about $2 million to assist in training minority doctoral candidates in mathematics. In addition to GAANN support, the department has also attracted support from the Sloan Foundation for dissertation year studies for its minority students. The department also has partnerships with the mathematics departments of several Historically Black undergraduate institutions, among them Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Fla., as well as with several universities in Puerto Rico. In 1999 the UI department of mathematics was one of two winners of the university's inaugural Catalyst Award, presented by the UI Office of Affirmative Action to individuals or organizations for work in diversity. More recently (2001), this award was presented to Professor Eugene Madison, chair of the Departmental Committee for Minority Student Recruitment and Development. In April 2000, Cornell President and former UI President Hunter R. Rawlings recognized the UI program and UI Mathematics Professor Herbert Hethcote for contributing to the training of minorities in the mathematical sciences.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. People requiring an accommodation in order to participate in this program are asked to contact the department of mathematics at 319-335-0714.