San Francisco State University, Established 1899, 1600 Holloway Ave. SF, CA 94132

SFSU Public Affairs Press Release

Published by the Public Affairs Office at San Francisco State University, Diag Center.

#13--September 28, 1998; For immediate release
Contact: Wallace Ravven
Phone: 415/338-1665

New national award offers rarefied opportunity to SF State math undergrads

New program links San Francisco State and international math institute to introduce students to world of highest level mathematics research

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--September 28, 1998 -- San Francisco State University has been awarded a grant of more than $900,000 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to put in place a novel plan to strengthen mathematics and science education and draw new students to these fields. SF State was one of only four universities in the country to win support, allowing advanced math undergraduates here to pursue challenging topics normally out of reach to students at this stage of their education.

In the new program, selected students will explore the same high-level topics under study at the internationally recognized Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley. Each semester, an SF State math professor will focus full time on a single undergraduate course that parallels the themes under investigation at the Berkeley Institute.

The program aims to attract students to mathematics, particularly those from ethnic backgrounds currently underrepresented in the field, such as African Americans and Latinos. As part of the award, four new graduate fellowships will be offered in mathematics.

"In addition to the rare opportunity for undergraduates, I believe the new collaborative program will help us attract high-quality faculty and strong new graduate students to the department," says Sheldon Axler, chair of mathematics at San Francisco State.

Mathematical scientists at the Berkeley Institute will offer lectures to the SF State class, and the students will visit the Institute, located just above the Berkeley campus. The award will also allow SF State to expand the mathematics book collection in the library.

"This collaborative educational program's to introduce at the advanced undergraduate level the themes pursued at one of the world's premier mathematical research institutions' is both daring and inspired," said Robert A. Corrigan, president of San Francisco State. "I think our students and faculty are fortunate and deserving to have been selected. In this single project, we bring together the resources and goals of the federal government, a prestigious research facility and dedicated faculty to help students reach their fullest potential. I wish the students well on their intellectual adventure."

The new NSF program is called Collaboratives to Integrate Research and Education (CIRE). The SF State project is called the SFSU-Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Collaboration for Education.

San Francisco State University is a highly diverse community of 27,000 students and 3,500 faculty and staff. It is one of the largest campuses of the nationally-recognized 23-campus California State University system. Founded in 1899, the University is approaching its 100th year of service to San Francisco, the Bay Area, California and beyond.

Editors: Sheldon Axler, SFSU chair of mathematics can be reached for comment at (415) 338-2251;


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