The Graduate Program
This year's entering class of 18 Ph.D. and 6 Master's students brings our current graduate enrollment to ninety-three, including 80 Ph.D., 11 Master's, and 2 visiting students; 18 women, and 28 international students representing 16 nationalities. Our graduate students are as talented and enthusiastic as any that I have seen since I arrived at the UW twenty-five years ago.
To successfully compete for these top students with other leading universities such as the University of Michigan, UC Berkeley, and UCLA, our department designed a recruitment and support plan over the past decade, and it is working very well. One of its many strengths is the careful mentoring and advising to facilitate the difficult transitions from college to graduate school, from course-work to reading current research papers, and finally from reading papers to doing research in mathematics.
The sixth annual Graduate Awards Ceremony, honoring outstanding graduate students in mathematics who received awards and fellowships during the past year, was held on November 14, 2005 in the UW Club. Mathematics students received a number of fellowships and other awards, including three Academic Excellence Awards, two Teaching Excellence Awards, three Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) fellowships, one McKibben and Merner fellowship, two McFarlan fellowships, eleven Vertical Integration Grants for Research and Education (VIGRE) fellowships, a Graduate Opportunity Research Assistantship (GO-MAP) award, five Top Scholar Awards sponsored by the Graduate School, and three Microsoft Scholar Awards.
Graduate students play a central role in all activities of our department: they share in the teaching of undergraduate courses, they are students in our graduate courses, and they are active participants in our research program. For the continued success of our program, it is vital that we continue to recruit from among the most talented students. Not only do the awards and fellowships provide valuable encouragement, but they are essential to our efforts to recruit talented students to our program.
The Academic Excellence Award, which recognizes outstanding performance in both core graduate mathematics courses and the Ph.D. qualifying exams, is given each fall to three students. This year's awards were presented to Jeremy Berquist, Jacob Lewis, and James Vargo. The Excellence in Teaching Award is given each fall to two of our Teaching Assistants for outstanding teaching performance in undergraduate mathematics courses. This year's Excellence in Teaching awardees are Kristofer Reed and Edwin O`Shea.
Our first McKibben and Merner Fellowship was awarded to Ursula Whitcher. The fellowship is funded at the level of $5,000 annually over three years, and is awarded to a second or third year graduate student with an excellent academic record.
Matias Courdurier and Jun Zhang are this year's McFarlan Fellows. The McFarlan Fellowship program, which began in 1992, provides support for graduate students through the income on a bequest given for this purpose by the late Professor Lee McFarlan of the Mathematics Department.
Three of our entering students, Michael Gaul, James Vargo, and Stephanie Vance, were awarded Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation Fellowships this year, bringing to six the total number of ARCS fellowships currently held by Mathematics students. The ARCS Foundation is a national organization of women who raise funds for fellowships in science, medicine and engineering. ARCS Fellowships are $15,000 awards, funded over three years at the level of $5,000 annually.
Microsoft Scholar Awards were given to three entering students, Andrey Novoseltsev, Bo Tian, and Carto Wong. These $20,000 awards, in the form of yearly supplementary stipends of $5,000 for four years, are funded by a gift from Microsoft Corporation.
Stephanie Vance is also the recipient of a Graduate Opportunity Research Assistantship, sponsored by the Graduate Opportunity and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP), for the purpose of bringing outstanding women and minority candidates to our PhD program. The award provides support, without teaching duties, during three academic quarters.
Top Scholar Awards are recruitment awards made available by the Graduate School to help with the recruitment of outstanding applicants. This year's Top Scholar awardees are Andrew Crites, Steven Klee, Laura Matrajt, Sweta Suryanarayan, and Travis Willse.
Eleven Mathematics graduate students are VIGRE fellows this year. VIGRE fellowships are funded by a joint grant to the UW departments of Applied Mathematics, Mathematics, and Statistics from the VIGRE program of the National Science Foundation. Each award provides fellowship support, without teaching duties, during two academic quarters and the summer. Matthew Ballard, Davis Doherty, Kelly Jabbusch, Matthew Kahle, Joshua Kantor, Keir Lockridge, Elizabeth Morris, Alex Papazoglou, David Rosoff, Zachary Treisman, and Ursula Whitcher are this year's VIGRE fellows.
We are grateful to the individuals, foundations, and UW programs who make these awards possible.