Six UNL mathematicians named AMS fellows

David Manderscheid (from left) Judy Walker, Sylvia Wiegand, Luchezar Avramov, Roger Wiegand and Jim Lewis were named AMS Fellows on Nov. 1. STEPHANIE VENDETTI/UNL CSMCE
David Manderscheid (from left) Judy Walker, Sylvia Wiegand, Luchezar Avramov, Roger Wiegand and Jim Lewis were named AMS Fellows on Nov. 1. STEPHANIE VENDETTI/UNL CSMCE

Six UNL mathematicians have been invited to join a prestigious national organization’s inaugural class of fellows. The first class of American Mathematical Society (AMS) fellows includes: professors Luchezar Avramov, Jim Lewis, David Manderscheid and Judy Walker and emeriti professors Roger Wiegand and Sylvia Wiegand.

“The selection of six members of our faculty for this honor is evidence of the strength of UNL’s Department of Mathematics. Only 62 institutions worldwide had five or more fellows - including 11 of our peer CIC institutions,” said Ellen Weissinger, Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. “This is a powerful validation of the importance of the work being accomplished by our mathematics faculty. It is a privilege to have these six outstanding scholars among our colleagues.”

The inaugural class of AMS fellows includes individuals who are members of the society who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication and use of mathematics. The society has a total membership of more than 30,000. The inaugural class includes 1,119 fellows representing more than 600 institutions.

“The new AMS Fellows Program recognizes some of the most accomplished mathematicians — AMS members who have contributed to our understanding of deep and important mathematical questions, to applications throughout the scientific world and to educational excellence,” said AMS President Eric M. Friedlander.

One of the top commutative algebraists in the world, Avramov, the Dale Jensen Chair in Mathematics, has given more than 130 talks in 25 countries and he has published 100 research papers. His research has been continuously funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) since coming to the United States in 1991 from his native Bulgaria.

Lewis, Aaron Douglas Professor of Mathematics and director of UNL’s Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education, has established a distinguished national reputation for his efforts to build partnerships with Nebraska school districts. He has attracted more than $18 million in grants to support teacher-training programs. Among many honors across his career, he was named the Nebraska Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

Manderscheid, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is an internationally recognized number theorist and has won numerous awards for his teaching. He has held visiting positions at the University of Paris, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, Calif. He also serves on the board of directors of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences.

Walker, Aaron Douglas Professor of Mathematics and chair of the Department of Mathematics, is a past recipient of the Haimo Award, recognizing her as one of the nation’s most outstanding mathematics teachers. She was an elected member of the AMS Council and for two years she was a George Polya Lecturer — an honor within the Mathematical Association of America. She has attracted more than $4.8 million in NSF grants to support the Mentoring through Critical Transition Points program as well as her research in coding theory.

Roger Wiegand, Willa Cather Professor of Mathematics, has received 19 grants from the NSF and two grants from the National Security Agency to support his research into commutative algebra. He also is responsible for more than $2.2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education to support graduate education in mathematics. He has published 77 research papers and given more than 180 talks.

Sylvia Wiegand also has been a major contributor to UNL’s commutative algebra group, with more than 50 publications. She has been a prominent national leader in mathematics, serving as national president of the Association for Women in Mathematics and an elected member of the Council of the American Mathematical Society.

For more details on the fellows program, visit