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.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Outstanding Students win Somerville Math Fund Scholarships

Monica Fernandes, Julie Schneider and Jay Landers congratulate this year's winners
at the Somerville High School Awards Night.  Left to Right: Monica Fernandes,
Charlottel Kafka-Gibbons, Ben Botner, Henry Zou, Max Nadeau, Robert McCarthy,
Bishan Rai, Simran Jeet, Isabel Silva, Julie Schneider, Jay Landers.

The Somerville Mathematics Fund is pleased to announce the winners of their renewable mathematics scholarships for 2019.  The Math Fund was founded to celebrate and encourage math achievement and these students deserve to be celebrated for their work in math and science while in high school. Thanks to the generosity of many individuals and a few organizations, this year we were able to award a record 9 scholarships, totaling $36,000 over four years.
Monica Fernandes congratulates
Smaranda Costiner.

Ben Botner and Henry Zou will attend Tufts University; Smaranda Costiner, Boston College; Simran Jeet, UMass Amherst; Charlotte Kafka-Gibbons, University of Toronto; Max Nadeau, Harvard College; Bishan Rai, Syracuse University; Isabel Silva, Northeastern University; and Robert McCarthy’s choice remains a deep dark mystery.

Their annual scholarships of $1000 are renewable for up to a total of four years as long as they maintain a B average and take mathematics or courses which use mathematics.

There were three scholarships named for outstanding women this year:  Dr. Alice T  Schafer Scholarship, Lt. Catherine M. Landers, and the Falstein-Schneider You can Count on Yourself Scholarship.
Monica Fernandes congratulates Charlotte Kafka-Gbbons
on winning the Dr. Alice T Schedule Scholarship for
outstanding work in math and science.
One of the scholarships was given in the memory of an outstanding woman mathematician, Dr. Alice T Schafer.  Monica Fernandes award the Dr.Alice T Schafer Scholarship to Charlotte Kafka-Gibbons. Charlotte is planing on majoring in neuroscience.  Dr. Schafer (1915 - 2009) 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 role 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. Since Dr. Schafer was committed to the education and supporting women in mathematics, Charlotte’s interest in studying the brain with a major in neuroscience is a wonderful way to honor Dr. Alice Schafer's memory.
Jay Landers awarded Max Nadeau the Lt Catherrine M Landers
Scholarship for outstanding working in math and science.
Jay Landers awarded  Max Nadeau the Lt. Catherine M. Landers Scholarship.  Max is planning on majoring in computer and data science to apply artificial intelligence to solving environmental problems. 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; she was about to be shipped to the far East when WW2 ended and so she boarded a transport ship for the USA instead.   Jay Landers and Jasper Lawson donated a scholarship in her memory, honoring her commitment to education. Max's interest in solving environmental problems is a wonderful way to honor Lt. Landers' commitment to education.
Julie Schneider congratulates Isabel Silva for
winning the Falstein-Schneider You can Count on Yourself
scholarship for outstanding work in math and science.
Julie Schneider awarded Isabel Silva the Falstein-Schneider You can  Count on Yourself Scholarship, which Falstein and her partner Julie Schneider created to recognize outstanding local math students.  As Falstein wrote, “We are delighted to offer this scholarship to honor our families and the philosophy we believe promotes success in understanding, appreciating, and using mathematics.”  Falstein also wrote, “We value Somerville, and believe in the potential of our young people to make the world a better and more peaceful place for everyone.  We hope this small contribution is helpful to this talented Somerville resident.

You Can Count On Yourself is the sub-title of a Falstein-authored text that serves as the curriculum for a math program she created at UMass Boston. The phrase describes the theory behind the program empowering adults to develop a foundation in understanding basic mathematics.  People who understand math notation and expect it to make sense, are more likely to enjoy and achieve success using the language of quantification.  Isabel Silva is planning on becoming a math teacher — what better way to honor Falstein who developed this curriculum to help her math students at UMass Boston.

The Somerville Mathematics Fund was chartered in 2000 to celebrate and encourage achievement in mathematics in the city of Somerville, Massachusetts. It May 2011, it was recognized as the outstanding Dollars for Scholars Chapter in New England.  Since it's founding in 2000, it has awarded $356,000 in mathematics scholarships to outstanding Somerville students.  Next fall, The Somerville Mathematics Fund will be seeking applications 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 annual Scrapheap Showdown.  For more  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.

The link to this page is https://somervillemathematics.blogspot.com/2019/08/outstanding-students-win-somerville.html
©Erica Dakin Voolich

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