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University of Iowa News Release

July 21, 2005

Manderscheid To Present At NSF Workshop Aug. 12-13

David Manderscheid, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), has been invited to present at the National Science Foundation (NSF) workshop, ""Engaging Young Mathematicians: An NSF Workshop on majors and the transitions to graduate work," Aug. 12-13 in Washington, D.C.

Manderscheid plans to speak on how the UI is using innovative programs to attract and cultivate students from underrepresented groups to expand the number of potential mathematics majors and graduate students at a time when the talent pool is shrinking. "It is an honor to share at this workshop some of our programs as a model for other mathematics departments across the country and to share our ideas on how we, as a nation, can address the critical shortage of U.S. citizens going into mathematics," he said.

Manderscheid's invitation to address the workshop recognizes the UI's leadership in the field of minority student mentoring, as well as the efforts of Manderscheid and Professors Juan Gatica, Phil Kutzko and Eugene Madison, among others. In recognition of its outstanding minority mentoring program, the UI Department of Mathematics recently received one of 14 2004 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). Supported and administered by the NSF, the award consists of a $10,000 grant to continue mentoring work and a Presidential commemorative certificate. Manderscheid accepted the award on behalf of the department at a May 16 Washington, D.C. awards ceremony presided over by John H. Marburger, science advisor to President George W. Bush and director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President.

The UI award, the only such award presented to an academic department this year, reads, in part: "The Department of Mathematics at University of Iowa is the largest single awarder of math doctorates to minorities in the nation ...  Currently, the department has 21 percent underrepresented minority graduate students."

The UI Department of Mathematics has attracted support from the U.S. Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program for its graduate program and from the Sloan Foundation for dissertation-year studies for its minority students. The department has formed partnerships with the mathematics departments of several historically black undergraduate institutions, among them Alabama A&M University, Benedict College, Florida A&M University, and Jackson State University, as well as with several universities in Puerto Rico. The Department of Mathematics spearheaded the creation of the Iowa Regents Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professorate -- an NSF program to bring more minorities into professorial positions. In a related effort, the UI's Department of Mathematics has formed the Heartland Mathematics Partnership, a program designed to encourage students at 12 Midwestern colleges to pursue graduate studies in mathematics.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,