Welcome to Somerville Mathematics

Welcome to Somerville Mathematics, a blog devoted to exciting mathematical things happening in Somerville MA. I am the founder of The Somerville Mathematics Fund, www.Somervillemathematicsfund.org
The Math Fund was chartered to celebrate and encourage mathematics achievement in Somerville. I hope you will check out my TEDxSomerville talk on the Somerville Math Fund,
I find that there are many other interesting things happening mathematically in Somerville and I hope on this blog to have others share what they are doing. So please contact me at mathfund@gmail.com if you would like to contribute an article.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Math Scholarship Winners Announced

The Somerville Mathematics Fund is pleased to announce the winners of their renewable college mathematics scholarships.  The selection committee was impressed by the quality of this year’s applicants and were pleased with the generosity of donors who made it possible to give six scholarships -- two of them in memory of outstanding women.  At the Somerville High School award night, Erica Voolich and Jay Landers, president and treasurer of The Somerville Mathematics Fund, commented on the outstanding winners and gave background on the named scholarships. 

The Somerville Math Fund was created in 2000 to celebrate and encourage mathematics achievement in Somerville and these winners’ mathematics achievements are definitely worth celebrating.  This year’s winners are Zoe Blickenderfer, Nathaniel Dempkowski, Nathan Long, Felice Mancini, Michele Mei and Yongkang Yu.  They are all planning to study mathematics or subjects using mathematics in college.

Zoe Blickenderfer won the Alice T Schafer Scholarship.  Dr. Schafer (1915 - 1909) was orphaned as an infant and raised by two aunts.  When she went to college at the University of Richmond of Virginia, women students weren’t allowed in the library and she was discouraged from majoring in mathematics.  She won prizes, earned a PhD, taught at colleges (including Wellesley) and among the things she is known for is helping start the Association for Women in Mathematics (1971).  Less known about Dr. Schafer was her helping to start the Somerville Mathematics Fund in 2000 -- attending all of the planning meetings and contributing to their work as long as she was able.  She is remembered for her passion and work to insure mathematical opportunities for women.

Yongkang Yu won the Lt. Catherine M Landers Scholarship.  When Lt. Landers (1920 - 2012) wanted to go to nursing school (graduating in 1942), her grandmother opened a cedar chest were she had been saving dollar bills to help pay for her granddaughter’s education.  Lt Landers won a Bronze Star for her service during WW2, where she ran a field hospital outside Paris.   Lt Landers’ family donated a scholarship in her memory honoring her commitment to education.

The Somerville Mathematics Fund, an affiliate of the national scholarship organization Dollars for Scholars, was chartered in 2000 to celebrate and encourage achievement in mathematics in the city of Somerville, Massachusetts.  Last year it was recognized as the outstanding Dollars for Scholars chapter in New England.  Since its founding, it has awarded $184,000 in mathematics scholarships to outstanding Somerville students.  Next fall, The Somerville Mathematics Fund will be seeking applicants from teachers who teach in the city of Somerville who would like funding for classroom mathematics activities.  In October, the Math Fund will also be seeking high school students to compete in the eight annual Scrapheap Showdown.  For information, to volunteer, or to make a tax-deductible contribution, please contact Erica Voolich (617-666-0666 or mathfund@gmail.com) or go to www.somervillemathematicsfund.org