June 18, 2004

Contact: Pam Ricley, math department, (785) 864-7300.

KU math department honors 14 students, two professors

LAWRENCE -- Fourteen undergraduate and graduate students and two professors were recognized by the University of Kansas mathematics department for outstanding academic and teaching achievements at its 47th annual honors banquet in April at the KU Alumni Center.

This year the math department presented more than $79,000 in awards and scholarships. Award winners are announced in the spring. Scholarship recipients will be announced in the fall. Funds for the awards and scholarships are administered through the KU Endowment Association.

Seven KU students received $100 checks for their performance in the national William Lowell Putnam Competition, sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America. The contest is open to all regularly enrolled undergraduates in colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. KU's three-member team placed 47th out of 479 teams and included Chris Kurth, Bellevue, Neb., junior; Andrew Womack, Overland Park senior; and Xiaobang Yue, Chindu, Sichuan, China, sophomore. Also recognized for their outstanding achievements on the exam were I-Shiang Cheng, Monterey Park, Calif., senior; Jordan Fisher, Derby sophomore; Pedro Lei, Macau senior; and Seungly Oh, Wichita senior.

Four winners in KU's 22nd annual mathematics prize competition also received cash awards. They were Pedro Lei, first place senior level, $450; Xiaobang Yue, first place junior level, $300; Andrew Womack, second place senior level, $150; and Jeff Bergfalk, Mission junior, second place junior level, $100.

Three students received certificates from the Kansas Algebra Program for their outstanding contributions to teaching, tutoring and extra duties. Winners were Anthony Hoch, New Strawn master's degree student; Nicholas Hunt, St. Louis, Mo., senior; and Melissa Stamer, Lawrence master's degree student.

KU's math department annually recognizes outstanding graduate teaching assistants with the Florence Black Excellence in Teaching Award and the John Bunce Memorial Award.

Ioannis Zachariou, Nicosia, Cyprus, doctoral student, and Christine Larson, Burlington master's degree student, received the $750 Florence Black Excellence in Teaching Award. The award was established in memory of Black, a KU faculty member from 1918 to 1960.

Diego Maldonado, Cordoba, Argentina, doctoral student, received the $750 John Bunce Award, which commemorates a math professor at KU from 1970 to 1991.

Erik Van Vleck, associate professor of mathematics, received the G. Baley Price Award for Excellence in Teaching, presented by the Mathematics Graduate Students Association.

Charles Himmelberg, professor of mathematics, received the Max Wells Teaching Award, in recognition of outstanding or exemplary teaching by a KU mathematics faculty member.

Student award winners, their hometowns and majors, and, if available, parents and high schools are:

COFFEY COUNTY
From Burlington
Christine Larson, master's degree student in mathematics, daughter of Mark and Debbie Larson; Emporia Senior High School; Florence Black Excellence in Teaching Award.

From New Strawn
Anthony Hoch, master's degree student in geology; Burlington High School; Kansas Algebra Program certificate.

DOUGLAS COUNTY
From Lawrence
Melissa Stamer, master's degree student in linguistics, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Stamer; Lawrence Free State High School; Kansas Algebra Program certificate.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Mission
Jeff Bergfalk, junior in mathematics, son of Jan Hodgson; Pembroke Hill School, Kansas City, Mo.; second place junior level math prize competition.

From Overland Park
Andrew Womack, senior in astronomy, math and physics, son of James and Kathleen Womack; Rockhurst High School, Kansas City, Mo.; Putnam Competition team member and second place senior level math prize competition.

SEDGWICK COUNTY
From Derby
Jordan Fisher, sophomore in mathematics, son of Barbara Fisher; Derby High School; outstanding achievement on the Putnam examination.

From Wichita and Pusan, South Korea
Seungly Oh, Wichita, senior in mathematics, son of Nam-gun Oh, Pusan, South Korea; outstanding achievement on the Putnam examination.

CALIFORNIA
From Monterey Park
I-Shiang Cheng, senior in mathematics, son of Do-Jen Cheng; Shawnee Mission South High School, Overland Park, Kan.; outstanding achievement on the Putnam examination.

MISSOURI
From St. Louis
Nicholas Hunt, senior in architectural engineering, son of Thomas Hunt; St. Louis University High School; Kansas Algebra Program certificate.

NEBRASKA
From Bellevue
Chris Kurth, junior in mathematics, physics and classics, son of Allen and Susan Kurth; Bellevue West Senior High graduate; Putnam Competition team member.

ARGENTINA
From Cordoba
Diego Maldonado, doctoral student in mathematics; John Bunce Award.

CHINA
From Chindu, Sichuan
Xiobang Yue, sophomore in computer engineering, son of Huanxun Yue; Putnam Competition team member and first place junior level math prize competition.

From Macau
Pedro Lei, senior in mathematics, son of Kok Hon Lei; outstanding achievement on the Putnam examination and first place senior level math prize competition.

CYPRUS
From Lakatamia, Nicosia
Ioannis Zachariou, doctoral student in mathematics; Florence Black Excellence in Teaching Award.

SOUTH KOREA
From Pusan and Wichita, Kan.
Seungly Oh. See Sedgwick County, Kan.

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