Campus: CSU, Fullerton -- February 8, 2000

Fullerton Math Scholars picCal State Fullerton Math Scholars Take Top Honors in National Competition

A trio of talented Cal State Fullerton math students-Suzanne Sindi, Gareguin Mikaelian and Daniel Mathews-took top honors at the Washington 2000 Undergraduate Student Mathematics Research Poster Session held in January in Washington, D.C., in connection with joint meetings of 5,000 mathematicians from around the nation.

The students and their adviser, Dr. Mario U. Martelli, professor of mathematics, will be honored at a reception Tuesday, Feb. 8, on the CSUF campus.

Working as a team, Sindi, a resident of Placentia, and Mikaelian of Tustin tied for first place with a student team from New Jersey's Stevens Institute of Technology.

The team of Sindi, Mikaelian and Mathews, a Fullerton resident, earned the third-place award for a separate math research project. (Because of the first-place tie, no second prize was awarded.)

The competition included 66 research projects from colleges and universities across the nation, plus two international entries. Students and advisers from institutions such as Harvard, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, Penn State and Michigan competed for prizes.

Research projects were judged by a panel of 36 judges chosen from among the nation's top mathematicians.

"We should be very proud of the achievements of these students, who outscored those from many prestigious universities with their intelligence, dedication and hard work," said Dr. Kolf O. Jayaweera, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. "It is a great honor to the college and the university."

Sindi, a junior math major with a computer science minor, is a President's Scholar and is president of this group of high-achieving students. She also is the editor of Dimensions, a student research journal published by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Mikaelian and Mathews are both seniors pursuing double majors-mathematics and physics.

The national competition was co-sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America, the world's largest organization devoted to collegiate mathematics education; the Mathematical Association of America; the Council on Undergraduate Research; the Society for Industrial Applied Mathematics; and the Association for Women in Mathematics.

At the January meeting of the Mathematics Association of America, Martelli was presented with the MAA's Distinguished Service Award for his work with the Southern California Section of the MAA.

His award citation noted: " . . . Mario's unique and most important contribution to mathematics and to the MAA in Southern California is the result of his special work with undergraduate students. Mario is both a first-rate research mathematician and an outstanding teacher, and his infectious enthusiasm for mathematics and for research attracts and inspires students . . . "

Martelli received Cal State Fullerton's Outstanding Professor Award for 1996.

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