Department of mathematics

(Left to right) Bogdan Suceavă, math professor, Tommy Murphy, associate math professor, Jasmine Camero and Roberto Hernandez, Cal State Fullerton seniors at the time. (Department of Mathematics)

Cal State Fullerton’s Department of Mathematics will receive a prestigious award from the American Mathematical Society for its history of mentoring and graduating students from underrepresented groups.

The 2022 Award for Mathematics Programs That Make A Difference is given in recognition of outstanding programs that have successfully addressed the issues of underrepresented groups in mathematics, according to the American Mathematical Society website.

The award ceremony will be held in Seattle, Washington on Jan. 5, where CSUF will receive the award along with a cash prize of $1,000. CSUF mathematics professor Bogdan Suceavă will attend to accept the award on the university’s behalf.

Rana Masrourrod, a mathematics major at CSUF, said that the CSUF math department has really mentored her and that professors truly care about helping students.

She said that this achievement is very rewarding and that the hard work that students and professors have put in is paying off and being recognized with this award.

“It just motivates me to continue learning and continue working alongside professors and kinda develop my future skills as a teacher,” Masrourrod said.

She added that the mathematics program at CSUF feels like a community where she’s able to build friendships and connections.

In a press release for the American Mathematical Society, Claudia Gutierrez, a CSUF alumna now teaching mathematics at Moorpark College, praised university programs like the SMART Girls Club, Math Club, Math Tutoring Center and Supplemental Instruction.

“All went above and beyond to support me as a student of mathematics, as a teacher of mathematics, and as a woman in mathematics. The CSU Fullerton math program truly makes a difference, and I am honored to be an example of such difference,” Gutierrez said.

Suceavă said that it was the greatest joy he has ever had to receive the news of the award.

“It’s a group of faculty who are converting their research agenda into something that serves our community when you are inviting your students to become co-authors,” Suceavă said.

He said that he believes the talent of mathematics is distributed equally across the world in every possible group and that it is important to address the needs of underrepresented groups.

Suceava has personally won two awards in the field of mathematics, the 2020 George Pólya Award, for an article published in the College Mathematics Journal, and the medal of honor of societal of mathematical sciences in Romania.

“I think this is setting a very interesting and inspiring precedent because it shows them that our program is for them and it is open and all they have to do is be very stubborn and fight to succeed. That is if you have to solve 20 problems for your work do it, it’s for a good reason. This is a very solid program that actually turns you all of you into scholars into professionals of the major of your choice,” Suceavă said.

CSUF alumna Lindsay Lewis, currently teaching mathematics at Golden West College, said in the same press release that the opportunities at CSUF changed her life. “Without the talented faculty and variety of programs accessible in the CSUF Mathematics Department, I truly do not know where I would be today”.

The 2022 American Mathematics Society Certificate will be displayed prominently in a place on campus where the incoming freshmen who come to CSUF orientation are able to see it for motivation and inspiration.

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