Math Professor Rockmore to receive Presidential award

by Amy Semet | 9/20/95 5:00am

President Bill Clinton recently named Mathematics Professor Daniel Rockmore one of 15 American scientists who will receive a 1995 Presidential Faculty Fellow Award.

The award annually recognizes young faculty members who demonstrate excellence in scientific or engineering research and in teaching.

Each Presidential Fellow receives a grant from the National Science Foundation of up to $100,000 a year for five years to allow the researcher to pursue self-designed research and teaching projects.

Rockmore said he plans to use some of the award money to improve the mathematics environment at Dartmouth.

"I plan to use some of the money to buy more equipment and to bring visitors in," Rockmore said in a telephone interview from Princeton, N.J. "It might also be nice to try to set up an undergraduate lab in computational math."

Rockmore is conducting research at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University until Spring term.

Rockmore is the third Dartmouth professor in three years to receive a Presidential Fellowship Award. Physics and Astronomy Professor Marcello Gleiser won the award in 1994 and Earth Sciences Professor Joel Blum was selected in 1993.

Deputy Provost Bruce Pipes said the College's science and engineering departments nominates candidates for the award, and the Provost's Office sends the best application to the National Science Foundation.

The National Science Foundation "is looking for a commitment to teaching and research," Pipes said. "Rockmore has strength in both areas. He uses his research to inform his teaching."

Math Professor Kenneth Bogart said Rockmore's award is "well deserved."

"I think it shows that Dartmouth is attracting truly outstanding young faculty members, and that outstanding young scientists see Dartmouth as a good environment for their work," Bogart said.

"I hope the reflection on the mathematics department is that it is one of the most desirable places in the country for a young faculty member in mathematics to come and work," he said.

Rockmore teaches Math 8, 20, 60, 70 and some graduate courses at the College. He said his main research interest is group theory.

"Group theory is the way mathematics characterizes symmetry," Rockmore said.

Together with Math Professors Geoffrey Davis, Dennis Healy and Timothy Olson, Rockmore said he works on "studying the ways in which mathematics can be applied to problems in the world, including things like medical imaging, meteorology, statistics and signal processing."

Rockmore earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Princeton and his master's and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. He joined Dartmouth's mathematics department in 1991.