The Pamela Ferguson Endowed Prize in Mathematics

Pamela Ferguson

(photograph of Pamela Ferguson)

Pamela Ferguson was appointed president of Grinnell College in 1991 and served in that position until 1997. After stepping down from the presidency, she continued to teach as a professor of mathematics. In 2003, she was appointed the Breid-McFarland Professor of Science.

Though she is best remembered at Grinnell College as a former president, Pam Ferguson has been described as a lover of mathematics. She published over forty papers in her area of group theory, most appearing in the highly regarded Journal of Algebra. Her work was strongly connected to the classification of finite simple groups, one of the landmark results of twentieth-century mathematics.

The endowment supporting this prize was established by her husband, D. Roger Ferguson.

Recipients of the Pamela Ferguson Prize

The goal of this merit prize is to recognize and encourage mathematical potential among students of both genders, particularly among women, who are traditionally under-represented in the discipline.

Up to two prizes will be awarded to the mathematics majors entering their senior year who are judged by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics to have demonstrated the greatest achievement and promise, as measured by such criteria as performance in mathematics classes (particularly upper-level courses), independent research projects, posters and other presentations, publications, competitions, etc. At least one of the prizes is awarded to a woman major, if one is judged excellent. If there is no suitable woman candidate, the prize is awarded to the man who is deemed excellent and best meets the criteria.

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