Steven J. Miller, professor of mathematics at Williams College, has been selected as the 2020 Council on Undergraduate Research-Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Awardee. The award consists of a plaque and $5,000 for the awardee’s research program and/or undergraduate researchers.
Selected from nine finalists, Miller was recognized for his considerable achievements as a dedicated scholar, teacher, and mentor to many undergraduates who have achieved success in graduate school and beyond. Miller, who specializes in number theory, earned his BS in mathematics and physics from Yale University, where he graduated summa cum laude, and his MA and PhD in mathematics from Princeton University.
Said John Mateja, president of the Goldwater Scholarship Foundation, “Dr. Miller’s exceptional record mentoring 10 students who were named Goldwater Scholars and co-mentoring an additional 5 students made him an outstanding choice of the CUR-Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Award selection committee for the 2020 award. His leadership of the National Science Foundation-supported SMALL Research Experiences for Undergraduates program has introduced hundreds of undergraduates to the excitement of mathematics research and changed lives across the country.” He also noted that Miller’s Goldwater Scholars have received support such as Churchill Scholarships and NSF graduate research fellowships.
Said Lindsay Currie, CUR executive officer, “Dr. Miller embodies the very best in undergraduate research mentors in his thoughtful, individualized approach to his work with students; his enthusiasm for collaboration with undergraduates; his commitment to making mathematics approachable for both majors and nonmajors; and his attention to building student skills and opportunities for their professional and personal advancement.”
Said Denise Buell, dean of the faculty at Williams College, “It’s a terrific honor for Williams to have a member of our mathematics and statistics department named as a 2020 recipient of the CUR-Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Award. Professor Miller is a prolific scholar and known for his commitment to student life and learning.”
Said Miller, “I am honored to be the recipient of the 2020 CUR-Goldwater Faculty Mentor Award. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to not only work with many of the top students in the country but with many of the best mentors, which include my family, my teachers, and my outstanding colleagues here at Williams.” (See Miller’s YouTube video for more on his response to the award.)
Founded in 1978, the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) focuses on providing high-quality and collaborative undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activity. Among the many activities and networking opportunities that CUR provides, the organization also offers support for the professional growth of faculty and administrators through expert-designed institutes, conferences, and a wide-range of volunteer positions. The CUR community, made up of nearly 700 institutions and 13,000 individuals, continues to provide a platform for discussion and other resources related to mentoring, connecting, and creating relationships centered around undergraduate research. CUR’s advocacy efforts are also a large portion of its work as they strive to strengthen support for undergraduate research. Its continued growth in connections with representatives, private foundations, government agencies, and campuses world-wide provides value to its members and gives voice to undergraduate research. CUR is committed to inclusivity and diversity in all of its activities and our community.
CUR focuses on giving a voice to undergraduate research with learning through doing. It provides connections to a multitude of campuses and government agencies, all while promoting networking and professional growth to its community.
Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation: By providing scholarships to college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering, the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation is helping to ensure that the United States is producing the number of highly qualified professionals needed by the nation in these critical fields.
Williams College: Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, MA, which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on US applicants are made regardless of a student's financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.