Giving to the Department of Mathematics
The Department of Mathematics is the internationally recognized leader in mathematical instruction innovation – particularly for its developments in inquiry-based learning and in postdoctoral training, with the largest program of any university mathematics department in the country. The extent and commitment to inquiry- based learning, to the undergraduate research experience, and to the professional development of its graduate students and postdoctorates sets the Department apart. And for over 75 years, the Department of Mathematics has also been one of the world's premier research centers, consistently ranked in the top 10 and noted for the depth and breadth of its research and many important innovations. The challenge ahead is to maintain, in an extremely competitive environment, the quality of the Department's research and instructional program, while becoming more interdisciplinary so that mathematicians can play leading roles in research endeavors in other disciplines–a development that is characterizing research in the 21st century. Our goal is to be recognized as one of the top five mathematics departments in the country for excellence in education and research.
Our faculty and students contribute to expanding the knowledge of fundamental mathematics and its uses in other disciplines. While mathematics was once the province of a few, it has now become an essential component for many livelihoods. The Department enrolls over 10,000 students annually in its elementary programs, providing them with the foundation for their studies at the University and provides undergraduate mathematics majors a thorough grounding in mathematics and its applications. Our graduate students are well prepared for a research and teaching career, and our postdoctorates receive the career foundation and training that will help them shape the next generation of mathematicians.
The Department has an important role to play in community outreach as well. UM Mathematics actively participates in the NSF-funded Center for Proficiency in Teaching Mathematics, whose mission is the improvement of instruction of future teachers in middle and secondary schools. The Department also manages the Michigan Math and Science Scholars Program, which brings intensive study of math and science to high school students during the summer.
In order to maintain its leadership role in research, expand its interdisciplinary pro grams, and enhance the student learning environment, the Department depends heav ily upon financial support from alumni and friends. Gifts to any of the following will help in achieving the Department goals.
For 100 years, the Department has provided instruction in actuarial mathematics and has been the nation's leader in instruction and research in actuarial mathematics, with a very distinguished group of alumni. We now have a faculty of 5 full time professors and several adjuncts from industry. In addition to actuarial insurance, we offer instruction in casualty insurance, pensions, and mathematics of finance (derivatives). Also, the Department, in collaboration with Industrial and Operations Engineering and the Ross School of Business, offers a Master's degree in Financial Engineering.
Looking to the future needs of society, such as the many important quantitative problems of analyzing risks in public insurance systems like Medicare and Social Security, the Department has expanded this program to include a wider range of problems where risk is an essential element. This larger program is highly interdisciplinary and initially focuses at the Bachelors and Masters levels, but the goal is also to develop a thriving doctoral program as well. To expand the program, we must be able to recruit outstanding faculty to the Department and provide retention incentives. And we must be able to offer scholarships and fellowships to attract the most talented students.
Endowing these awards will assure that we are able to be an innovator in the field and are able to provide talented graduates for successful careers in various fields for years to come. Graduate fellowships in this Center can be endowed for $750,000, and an endowed undergraduate scholarship in the amount of $100,000 will support one student in this program.
To maintain its leadership in research and in teaching, the Department needs to retain current faculty and to continue recruiting at the highest level in a fiercely competitive environment. An endowment of $2 million would provide a competitive annual salary for a distinguished professor. An additional endowment of $1 million would support a modest research fund. We seek endowed professorships for pure mathematics, for applied mathematics, and for the Center for Risk Analysis.
While the Mathematics Department has always supported instruction and research in applied mathematics and actuarial science, the growing needs and demands for interdisciplinary research has led the Department to establish the AIM Program. This doctoral degree program requires students to have extensive course work in another discipline and is attracting a substantial number of bright students who are pursuing innovative research in various fields including: Mathematical Physics (Fluid Dynamics, String Theory), Modeling in Engineering (Materials, Aeronautics, Control Theory), Mathematical Biology (Epidemiology, Cancer), Informatics (Algorithms, Theoretical Computer Science), Risk Analysis (Insurance, Financial Engineering, Health, Contamination), and Mathematical Economics. This program maintains a vital link between mathematics and the life sciences initiative. To expand the program, we need additional faculty that an endowment would make possible.
To recruit outstanding young faculty, the Department needs to provide both a competitive salary and time to develop their ideas. Supplementing the salary and allowing for more time for research allows an Associate Professor of exceptional talent to concentrate on research and educational innovation at a critical time in their scholarly development and assists the Department in recruiting at the highest level. An annual gift coupled with a bequest could have immediate impact and ensure such continued opportunities for bright scholars.
Postdoctoral faculty play a vital role in refreshing the program with new ideas and research. In learning new approaches to teaching and research, these young scholars have much to offer current students. Very talented students are essential for a top quaity department, and competition for them is intense. External funding is needed to attract the very brightest and best postdoctorates and graduate students.
To keep current with groundbreaking research developments, it is essential for the Department to invite those making innovative discoveries to campus to give presentations and to be available for consultation. The cost for a single lecture averages $1,000, while a lecture series could be up to $10,000. Ideally funding for some of the colloquium lectures would come from an endowment and would be named after thedonor. Annual gifts can also be designated for this purpose, and with an endowed commitment, would be named after the donor.
Attracting bright undergraduate students to the Department and to the University is essential to achieving excellence in mathematics education. Far too often, the cost to attend the University of Michigan is in excess of 25% of a family's total annual income. Providing assistance to outstanding students in need not only benefits the students, it strengthens our program and our ability to provide future productive members of society with the most competitive skills. Named undergraduate scholarships can be funded by endowments of $200,000. Funding these scholarships is a high priority.
The Department also has a Scholarship Fund that is funded by annual gifts of any size. It provides another way for friends of the Department, especially alumni, to contribute. A gift of $500 annually equals the income from an endowment of $10,000.
Each year, the Department faces unexpected opportunities to extend its mission that are not funded by the standard state budgeting process. An expendable account would allow the department to respond to such opportunities and address unexpected special needs and provides the Department Chair resources that support exceptional cutting edge work that will have a high impact on mathematics, our students, or our department. Continuous endowed funds would also help to meet faculty retention needs and provide start up assistance for new faculty. Endowments for these funds can start at $100,000, with a total goal of $2 million.
All donors will be eligible for Presidential Society Recognition opportunities, including the President's Club ($15,000), the Tappan Society ($50,000) and the Hutchins Society ($100,000)
Juha Heinonen, Professor of Mathematics, passed away on October 30, 2007. He arrived in the Department in 1988 as a postdoctoral assistant professor, and became a professor in 2000. He was a leading researcher in geometric function theory, having published two books and numerous articles with many collaborators. Most recently, Juha served as Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the Department, where he mentored many young mathematicians
Juha Heinonen Memorial Graduate Student Fellowship was established in the University of Michigan Department of Mathematics. Juha gave tirelessly of his time as a mentor to young mathematicians and this fund will help to carry on his spirit of support and guidance.
Gifts to this fund should be directed to allocation 571702. This fund constitutes a gift for endowment and distributions from this fund will be made in accordance with the University of Michigan's existing endowment distribution policy.
The Department has established this fund to recognize and celebrate Professor Huntington's incredible contributions and dedication to our Department, College, University, and the actuarial profession at large. In his career at the U-M, Professor Huntington worked tirelessly to prosper the actuarial program and the broader undergraduate mathematics program. One can argue convincingly that he single-handedly rescued the actuarial program at a time that it would have faltered. He was always generous with his time, energy, and money. It's no secret that giving to the University is a cause that was near and dear to Professor Huntington's heart, and he lead by example. He passed away in October, 2013.
The Curtis E. Huntington Honorary Fund in the Department of Mathematics will provide support for the Actuarial and Financial Mathematics program. The fund will constitute an endowment, with only monies from the distribution to be spent. The fund will provide support for actuarial exam fees, student group activities including job recruiting, student loans, recruitment activities to attract students and faculty, and other programmatic activities as deemed appropriate by Department administration.
Gifts to this fund should be directed to allocation 572235. This fund constitutes a gift for endowment and distributions from this fund will be made in accordance with the University of Michigan's existing endowment distribution policy.
To commemorate the many contributions of Professor Allen L. Shields to Mathematics and to the University of Michigan, his family and friends established the Allen L. Shields Memorial Fellowship for graduate students in the Department of Mathematics at the University.
Professor Shields received his bachelor's degree from City College of New York in 1949 after serving in the United States Army from 1945–46. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1952. Before coming to the University of Michigan in 1956, he taught at Tulane University from 1952–56.
Allen Shields was an immensely warm and caring person who took his "pastoral duties" to faculty and students very seriously. He was a gregarious mathematician, completely dedicated to his work, with an amazing eagerness to discuss mathematics in any circumstances. His more than 90 published papers show collaboration with 44 different authors. He had a contagious enthusiasm and the knack for coming up with interesting and important questions. A mathematical universalist, he made substantial contributions to many different areas of mathematics including semigroups, measure theory, complex functions, functional analysis, and operator theory. His standards were high, his taste impeccable, and his ideas deep.
A very popular teacher, Allen's lectures were models of clarity and always highly informative. He was an engaging speaker and a constant source of inspiration for students and faculty alike. Highly sought by students as a thesis advisor, he directed 26 doctoral dissertations in his 33–year career as a faculty member at Michigan.
He also made many contributions to the mathematics community at large, including his work as the author of a popular column on mathematical history in the Mathematical Intelligencer. Within the department, he served as Chair of the department from 1975–77 and as acting Chair in 1980–81 as well as constantly serving as a source of advice on decisions facing the department.
Allen Shields is remembered by his colleagues for his talent, his personal charm, and his extraordinary generosity. He changed the lives of all who knew him while his broad and penetrating contributions altered the face of the science he so loved. He showed by example what a mathematician should be.
Allen Shields is survived by his widow, Smilka Zdravkovska, his children, Katherine, Thomas, and Jean, and his stepchildren Howard, Bojana, and Andrei. Dr. Zdravkovska still lives in Ann Arbor.
Gifts to this fund should be directed to allocation 796147. This fund constitutes a gift for endowment and distributions from this fund will be made in accordance with the University of Michigan's existing endowment distribution policy.