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Updated 3:00 PM July 30, 2007




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U-M professor to receive National Medal of Science
at White House ceremony

President George W. Bush will present math and education professor Hyman Bass with the nation's highest science honor during a July 27 ceremony at the White House.
(Photo by Lin Jones, U-M Photo Services)

Bass is one of eight National Medal of Science laureates who will be honored. He is the Roger Lyndon Collegiate Professor of Mathematics in LSA, and a professor of mathematics education in the School of Education.

Bass is the first from the University to win the honor in 21 years. Five other U-M researchers won the award between 1974 and 1986 for their work in engineering, biological sciences and physical sciences. Bass is the only U-M winner to represent the fields of math and education.

The award citation for Bass states that he is being honored: "For his fundamental contributions to pure mathematics, especially in the creation of algebraic K-theory, his profound influence on mathematics education, and his service to the mathematics research and education communities. With his unique combination of gifts he has had enormous impact over the course of a half century."

"Professor Bass' work is a wonderful example of a gifted mathematician and researcher in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts working collaboratively with his colleagues in the School of Education to advance mathematical research and teaching skills," says LSA Dean Terrence McDonald. "We are very pleased that his work is being recognized with the prestigious award."

Bass says he was "very honored" by the recognition.

"My work in mathematics education, with Deborah Ball, dean of the School of Education, and her researchers, is focused on the problem of helping teachers provide quality mathematics instruction for the full diversity of students in American classrooms," Bass says. "Working together we have focused on the mathematical demands at the elementary level and what this implies about the mathematical knowledge needed for teaching."

The National Medal of Science, established in 1959, honors individuals for pioneering scientific research in a range of fields that enhance understanding of the world and lead to innovations and technologies that give the United States its global economic edge. The National Medal of Technology, established in 1980, honors the nation's leading innovators.

The ceremony also will recognize five 2006 National Medal of Technology laureates, including former Provost Charles Vest, who went on to serve as president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1990-2004. Vest's award citation praises "his visionary leadership in advancing America's technological workforce and capacity for innovation through revitalizing the national partnership among academe, government and industry."

The other 2006 Medal of Science laureates are: Marvin Caruthers of the University of Colorado, Rita Colwell of the University of Maryland, Peter Dervan of the California Institute of Technology, Nina Fedoroff of Pennsylvania State University, Daniel Kleppner and Robert S. Langer of MIT and Lubert Stryer of Stanford University.

The other 2006 Medal of Technology laureates are: Leslie Geddes of Purdue University, Paul Kaminski of Technovation, Inc., Herwig Kogelnik of Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs and James West of The Johns Hopkins University.

The recipients of the 2006 National Medals of Science and Technology were announced on May 29 and June 12, respectively, and both will be honored during the ceremony.

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