Student Award Winners Honored at Annual Ceremony
Three graduate students and one undergraduate student were recognized at the Department of Mathematics’ annual student awards ceremony held recently.
The Bjarni Jónsson Prize for Research was awarded jointly to Alexander Wires and William Young. The prize, which recognizes graduate students for exceptional research in mathematics, was established in honor of Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus, Bjarni Jónsson.
Wires’ research focuses on the areas of universal algebra, lattices, and algebraic graph theory. His thesis is entitled “Some Results in Universal Algebra.”
“Alex is my twenty-sixth Ph.D. student,” said his advisor, Professor Ralph McKenzie, “and since my second student obtained his degree, I have not seen a better Ph.D. thesis than the one Alex has written. I think it is a major accomplishment.”
William Young’s research focuses on the areas of universal algebra and algebraic logic. His thesis is entitled “An Investigation of Residual Lattices with Modal Operators.”
“William is quite talented,” said his advisor, Professor Constantine Tsinakis. “He has produced a high-quality thesis dealing with the interface between algebra and logic.”
Young was also a joint recipient, with Michael Hull, of the B.F. Bryant Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Established in honor of Professor Emeritus Billy F. Bryant, it honors graduate teaching assistants who inspire their students to be active problem solvers, to search for and recognize patterns, and to understand why theorems are true while maintaining high expectations and standards.
“Both Michael and William challenge their students and demonstrate their passion for mathematics,” said Director of Teaching John Rafter, who presented the award.
All three graduate student award winners received their Ph.D.’s in May 2013. Hull has accepted a position as research assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Wires will be a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo in Ontario starting in the fall, and Young will be a visiting assistant professor at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama.
Larsen Award for Undergraduate Achievement
Austin Conner was the recipient of the Richard J. Larsen Award for Achievement in Undergraduate Mathematics. The Larsen Award recognizes the senior math major judged by the faculty to have excelled in all aspects of undergraduate mathematics.
“Austin has taken all of the first-year graduate math classes – topology, algebra, and real analysis – with great success,” said Professor Gieri Simonett, director of undergraduate studies. “He completed an honors thesis in mathematics and will graduate with a double major in mathematics and computer science.”
“Austin’s mathematical talent and creativity are simply outstanding,” said Professor Akram Aldroubi, who taught him in a class on multivariate mathematics. “His ability to understand complex material and his problem-solving skills are incomparable to other undergraduate students I have taught.”
Conner will pursue graduate studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The Department of Mathematics is proud to honor these excellent students.