Paul Ponmattam Receives AMS Award
Vanderbilt University mathematics major Paul Ponmattam has received a $3,000 Waldemar J. Trjitzinsky Memorial Award from the American Mathematical Society (AMS).
The AMS makes $18,000 in awards to six undergraduates nationwide each year through the Waldemar J. Trjitzinsky Memorial Fund. Six geographically distributed universities are chosen in a random drawing from the society's institutional members. The mathematics departments at each of those schools then select an undergraduate mathematics major to receive the funds to assist him or her in pursuit of a career in mathematics.
Ponmattam, a junior, came to Vanderbilt in fall 2011 from the American Heritage School in Plantation, Florida. “He is one of our most accomplished and outstanding students,” said department Vice-Chair Mike Neamtu, who oversaw the selection process. “He has a GPA in mathematics of 4.00 out of 4.00. He has already taken several upper level undergraduate and beginning level graduate courses and excelled in all of them. Paul has a true passion for mathematics and I have no doubt that he has the potential to become a successful mathematician.”
In recognition of Ponmattam’s accomplishments, the Department of Mathematics augmented the AMS award with an additional $1,000 grant.
Department Chair Dietmar Bisch, who presented the two awards, added, “"We are extremely proud of the achievements of Paul Ponmattam in our undergraduate program. He's the kind of math major that every instructor wishes to have in his class."
Waldemar J. Trjitzinsky (1901-1973) received his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1926. He was the author of approximately 60 mathematical papers, primarily on quasi-analytic functions and partial differential equations. He spent most of his mathematics career at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he showed particular concern for students of mathematics and, in some cases, made personal efforts to ensure that financial considerations would not hinder their studies.