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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 7, 2006

UI Mathematicians Win Prestigious $3 Million NSF Grant

The University of Iowa Department of Mathematics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has won a prestigious five-year, $3 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to help train high-quality U.S. mathematicians.

Called VIGRE (Vertical Integration of Research and Education), the project is one of only three such grants awarded each year across the country. UI Mathematics Professor and Department Chair David Manderscheid said that the project builds upon recognized UI success and likely will be viewed as a model for similar university mathematics programs nationwide.

"The UI Department of Mathematics and the closely allied Program in Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences (AMCS) will work together on VIGRE to train high-quality U.S. mathematicians through the successful integration of cutting-edge research and education in the mathematical sciences," he said. "Parts of the project are in cooperation with a coalition, The Heartland Mathematics Partnership, which is composed of the Department of Mathematics and AMCS at the University of Iowa, and the departments of mathematics at twelve other Midwest colleges and universities. This partnership will allow the department and AMCS to increase the number of highly talented and well-prepared U.S. students who enter a career in the mathematical sciences."

In brief, the grant will enable the UI to support undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to do state of the art research as part of teams with UI faculty.

"The VIGRE project -- including graduate traineeships, postdoctoral associates and workshops -- has been carefully designed to provide a model for mathematical sciences departments at top research universities," Manderscheid said.

Manderscheid will serve as project principal investigator, while co-principal investigators are Professors Raul Curto, Weimin Han, Yi Li and Jonathan Simon, who will also serve as project director.

Last year the UI Department of Mathematics earned nationwide recognition when it received one of fourteen 2004 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) presented at the White House in Washington, D.C. Supported and administered by the NSF, the award was the only one of its kind presented to an academic department in 2005 and included a $10,000 grant for continued mentoring work and a Presidential commemorative certificate. The Department won the award for its work with U.S. minority graduate students. The VIGRE grant will allow the department to bring its successful techniques to a broader range of students at the UI and throughout the Midwest through the Heartland Mathematics Partnership.

The schools in the Heartland Partnership are: Bradley University, Central College, Clarke College, Coe College, Cornell College, Grinnell College, Loras College, Luther College, Truman State University, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse, and Wartburg College.

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,