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Math Milestones

Frances Allen, a 1957 U-M Math Masters degree recipient, has received the top honor in computing. She is the first woman to receive the Turing Award, considered the Nobel Prize for computing, for her work with IBM.


The 2007 Wolf Prize in Mathematics was awarded to UM Mathematics graduate, Stephen J. Smale. Now with University of California at Berkeley, Smale was recognized for his groundbreaking contributions that have played a fundamental role in shaping differential topology, dynamical systems, mathematical economics, and other subjects in mathematics. The Prize is awarded by the Wolf Foundation of Israel to promote science and art for the benefit of mankind.

The Abel Prize is awarded to U of M graduate, Isadore M. Singer
Isadore M. Singer was born in 1924 in Detroit and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1944. After obtaining his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1950, he joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Singer has spent most of his professional life at MIT, where he is currently an Institute Professor. Singer is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). He served on the Council of NAS, the Governing Board of the National Research Council, and the White House Science Council. Singer was vice president of the American Mathematical Society from 1970 to 1972.

In 1992 Singer received the American Mathematical Society's Award for Distinguished Public Service. The citation recognized his "outstanding contribution to his profession, to science more broadly and to the public good."

Among the other awards he has received are the Bôcher Prize (1969) and the Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2000), both from the American Mathematical Society, the Eugene Wigner Medal (1988), and the National Medal of Science (1983).

When Singer was awarded the Steele Prize his response, published in Notices of the American Mathematical Society, was: "For me the classroom is an important counterpart to research. I enjoy teaching undergraduates at all levels, and I have a host of graduate students, many of whom have ended up teaching me more than I have taught them." Singer has also written influential textbooks that have inspired generations of mathematicians.