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Association for Women in Mathematics Announces Michler Prize

Association for Women in Mathematics Announces Michler Prize

The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) has announced that Gerhard and Waltraut Michler of Essen, Germany donated $1 million to Cornell University to establish a prize in the memory of their daughter, Ruth Michler, who was tragically killed in November, 2000 while riding her bicycle.

The AWM press release described Ruth as "a constant source of energy, persistence, and talent." She was born in Ithaca, NY, while her father was a visiting mathematician at Cornell. She studied in Oxford and did her graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley. She taught briefly at Queen's University in Canada, and then went to the University of North Texas at Denton. Longtime readers of FOCUS Online may remember her two reviews for our Read This! column; the editor also remembers her indignant refusal to review a book that she felt was unworthy of the attention.

At the time of her death, Ruth was 33 years old; she had recently been promoted to Associate Professor and was spending the year as a Visiting Scholar at Northeastern University on an NSF POWRE grant. She was struck and killed by a construction vehicle, while waiting to cross a busy intersection near the Northeastern campus. The prize in her memory will enable other mid-career women to follow Ruth's example and more deeply pursue their own mathematical research.

The prize will be awarded annually by the AWM to a recently promoted female associate professor of mathematics (or equivalent) working at a university other than Cornell. The prize is intended to allow the winner to spend four to six months at Cornell to pursue a research or book project. The application deadline for the first prize is November 1. For details about the Michler Prize and the applications process, see

News Date: 
Tuesday, August 8, 2006