The Morgan Prize for Undergraduate Research

March 22, 1999

Daniel Biss, a 1998 graduate of Harvard University, is the 1998 recipient of the Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize. The prize, which is awarded jointly by the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, and SIAM, recognizes outstanding research conducted by an undergraduate student. Biss was selected by the prize committee selected Biss for his work in combinatorics, topology, group theory, and graph theory. The prize committee found the most exciting aspect of his submission, which included four papers (two of which have been accepted for publication), according to the prize committee, was his extension of a category that more closely binds the associations between combinatorial group theory and combinatorial topology.

Biss, the fourth recipient of the Morgan Prize, was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1977, and grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, where his education in mathematics began. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard and received the Thomas Wendell Hoopes Prize for his undergraduate thesis, "Homotopy Theory with a View Toward Stable Computations." The prize committee also awarded an honorable mention to Aaron Archer, a native of Tucson, Arizona, who earned a BS in mathematics in 1998 from Harvey Mudd College. Archer was also a member of the Harvey Mudd team that was named a SIAM winner for the discrete problem in the 1998 Mathematical Contest in Modeling. His submission for the Morgan Prize included two "solid papers on graph theory that introduced new chromatic interpretations for graphs."

The work submitted by all of the Morgan Prize applicants, according to the prize committee, demonstrates that undergraduate students, who represent the future of the profession, can make consistent and significant contributions to the mathematical sciences.

The committee is now seeking nominations for the 1999 prize. The deadline for nominations is June 30, 1999. The committee names one recipient each year for the $1000 prize, although it often awards one or more honorable mentions as well. Students who were undergraduates at a college or university in Canada, Mexico, or the U.S. as of December 1998 are eligible for the 1999 award. Nominations must include at least one research paper and one letter of recommendation; the submitted research papers do not have to have been published, but the work must have been completed while the nominee was an undergraduate student.

Applications should be sent to the Morgan Prize Committee, c/o Robert M. Fossum, Department of Mathematics, University of Illinois, 1409 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801-2975.

The Morgan Prize, which is co-sponsored by AMS, MAA, and SIAM, is entirely endowed by a gift from Mrs. Frank (Brennie) Morgan.

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