UCSD Science & Engineering UCSD Science & Engineering
December 14, 1999

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MARI.gif (57638 bytes)Versatile undergraduate mathematician, violinist wins Schafer Prize

Mariana Campbell, a senior at the University of California, San Diego, has been selected the recipient of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) Alice T. Schafer Prize for excellence in mathematics by an undergraduate woman. Campbell will receive her award at the American Mathematical Society/Mathematical Association of America (AMS/MAA) Joint Meetings in Washington, D.C., Jan. 19-22, 2000.

Campbell will present a paper in the Special Session: Research in Mathematics by Undergraduates at the January joint meetings on a project she participated in last summer at the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. The paper, The Igusa local zeta function for the different reduction types of the special fiber of an elliptic curve, is being prepared for publication. She has presented talks on this research at Mathfest '99 in Providence, R.I., the UCSD Number Theory Seminar, the University of San Diego, and the Mount Holyoke Summer Research Symposium.

Campbell, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Bruce Campbell of San Diego, is currently working on extending the research from the REU project to another class of curves: hyperelliptic curves.

Campbell presented a talk on Complete Graphs on Surfaces of genus g and the Map Color Theorem at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and on braids to the UCSD Undergraduate Knot Theory Seminar. Her projects have included finding low degree rational approximations to the Navy's antenna data and the mathematics of card shuffling. She has taken graduate courses in number theory: analytic and algebraic number theory and Fourier analysis on finite groups and she has been a teaching assistant in calculus and a private tutor.

The mathematics major will spend her last two undergraduate quarters studying in Hungary at the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics, returning to San Diego in time for the June, 2000 graduation from UCSD.

Campbell is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Mathematical Association of America and the Association for Women in Mathematics.

The versatile scholar is also an accomplished violinist. She won the bronze medal in the 1996 California International Young Artists' Competition. During the summers of 1996 and 1998 she performed in more than 20 concerts as a soloist and chamber musician throughout southern Germany. In March, 1999, she presented a solo recital featuring the works of Bach, Beethoven, Szymanowski, Ysaye and Ravel. She organized musical recitals at Mount Holyoke and at Mathfest and is in the process of organizing an informal music recital at the AMS/MAA Joint Meetings in January with other mathematicians/musicians attending.

"I'm not planning a career in music," Campbell says, "but I will always continue to be an active musician. I really enjoy chamber music, especially piano trios. I'm certainly planning on bringing my violin with me to Hungary!"

Campbell is applying to mathematics graduate programs at Princeton, Harvard, Brown, Rutgers, Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UCSD.

According to Margaret Robinson, professor of mathematics at Mount Holyoke who nominated Campbell for the Schafer Prize, the prize "is given once a year and it is very hard to get ... it really means Mari will be able to go to grad school wherever she wants."

The Alice T. Schafer Prize for excellence in mathematics by an undergraduate woman was established in 1990 by the executive committee of the AWM. The prize is named former AWM president and founding member Alice T. Schafer, professor emerita from Wellesley College. Campbell is the 10th recipient of the annual award.

The AWM is a non-profit organization founded in 1971 to encourage women in the mathematical sciences. It has more than 4,100 members representing the broad spectrum of the mathematical community from the United States and around the world.