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Dr. Francis D. Parker '39, Mathematics Prize

The Dr. Francis D. Parker, '39, Mathematics Prize is awarded each year to the graduating student with the best senior work in the mathematics department. The prize was established in 1993 with a gift from Professor Parker.

Francis Dunbar Parker (1918 – 2006) was a member of the Middlebury Class of  1939. He earned a master's degree from Boston University in 1942, and a Ph. D. from the Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western  Reserve University) in 1952. He taught mathematics at Case, Clarkson University, University of Alaska, State University of  New York at Buffalo, and, for many years, at  St. Lawrence University from which he retired as Rutherford Professor of Mathematics. Dr. Parker also held a Fulbright Exchange Professor at Plymouth Polytechnic in England and was a visiting scholar at the California State University Los Angeles. He served the Mathematical Association of America in several leadership positions.

Daniel Grubbs-Donovan
2021

Daniel Grubbs-Donovan’s thesis provides an introductory proof to Markov’s seminal result that if two closed braids represent the same link, it is possible to transform one of the braids into the other using a sequence of braid isotopies and Markov moves.  This important result is situated in the mathematical area of knot theory, a subfield of topology.   Danny’s explication of Markov’s theorem displays a deep understanding of the mechanism of the proof, communicated with a clear and accessible writing style that makes his thesis an ideal introduction to the subject.  This attention to detail extends to the many elegant diagrams included to support the reader’s understanding and intuition.  With this strong and substantial thesis, Danny exhibits both his ability to understand complex mathematics, and to write about it in a clear and mathematically mature voice.

Past recipients:

2020

Michael Czekanski

2019

Jack Parker

2018

Sirawit "Blink" Woramongkhon

2017

Noel Jean Eyman Antonisse

2016

Jordan Daniel DuBeau

2015

William Reed Palmer

2014

Lindong Zhou

2013
Alec Cooper
Aden Forrow

2012
Ying "Daisy" Zhuo

2011
Nicholas Tkach

2010
Hallie Gammon
Shengen Zhai

2009
Phuong Chi Le

2008
Jeffrey Wehrwein

2007
Anna Blasiak

2006
Gregory C. Petrics
Siddarth Rajaram

2005
Emily J. Berg

2004
Jeffrey W. Koppernolle

2003
Victor A. Dan
Jill E. Parsons

2002
Jesse E. Johnson

2001
Sorin Talamba

2000
Darius Braziunas
Wei Su

1999
Milda Darguzaite

1998
Charles B. Donnellan
Irina Marinov

1997
Dirk R. Hobman

1996
David B. Wood II
Vikas Jhunjhunwala

1995
Mark H. Montague

1994
Angie Zhong

Department of Mathematics

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Middlebury College
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