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Chancellor Heath praises mathematics and statistics faculty members for remarkable achievements
Faculty members of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the College of Arts and Sciences of American University of Sharjah were congratulated by AUS Chancellor Dr. Peter Heath for their achievements.
"You should be proud of what you are doing and of your remarkable achievements," Dr. Heath said at a departmental meeting which he attended recently with Dr. Thomas Hochstettler, the AUS Provost "We wanted to hear what you are doing and to see how we can be of better help to you," he said.
Dr. Mahmoud Anabtawi, head of the department, said the department hopes to expand in the direction of financial mathematics and applied statistics, by offering a BSc in Actuarial Mathematics, develop a more active research environment and strengthen its mathematics programs and outreach to professional services and community. The department has 27 full-time faculty members, of them nine professors, eight associate professors, seven assistant professors and three instructors. It also has one visiting associate professor.
Chancellor Heath expressed pride over the outcome of a report prepared recently by an external review team (ERT) about the AUS Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The report commented that the department with its baccalaureate offerings and the research and teaching expertise of its faculty "serves the basic mission of AUS effectively." The report also stated "the quality of the research produced by the AUS Department of Mathematics is highly commendable. The list of excellent mathematics journals in which AUS faculty publish includes absolute top journals."
According to the report, in terms of quality of research and research output in the last five years, AUS mathematics faculty published an average 1.73 papers per faculty member per year. The report also mentioned that "the department easily holds its own when compared to many major, internationally well-known PhD-granting institutions in the United States," and surmised that AUS has the capacity and organizational will to offer the proposed graduate program.
The ERT interviewed ten faculty members and was "impressed by their professionalism and dedication to mathematical research, service and education of the highest quality." The report added that the department has in place an exceptionally well qualified mathematics faculty, a research agenda, suitable workload and concluded that the department has the academic breadth and depth to implement and sustain an academically rigorous master's program that will be able to place students into internationally leading PhD programs in pure and applied mathematics.
Also mentioned in the report was the fact that the AUS provost was enthusiastic in discussing the quality of the mathematics faculty and views the launch of the MS in Mathematics as a mechanism for retaining productive faculty and as a means of raising the stature of the university, the college and the department.
The master's degree in mathematics will consist of two tracks; pure mathematics and applied mathematics (industrial/financial) with thesis and non-thesis options.
The discussion at the departmental meeting also covered major issues and addressed many questions raised by the faculty, such as course load and research expectations. Dr. Hochstettler told the faculty members that this matter depended on departmental needs and on the resources available and that faculty should understand general parameters in setting their goals, not just numbers.
The department has over 40 students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program in Mathematics, as well as 230 students minoring in applied and computational mathematics in the past seven years and 60 students minoring in actuarial mathematics in the past three years. Serving more than 5500 students per year, the department is teaching 38 different courses and 190 sections per year. These include 30 courses for CAS students, 18 Courses for CEN students, six courses for SBM students and five for CAAD students.
Departmental achievements include those by students. Hossam Shoman was awarded the prestigious Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashed Al Maktoum Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement as The Most Outstanding University Student in the UAE, whilst student Hamid Al-Sagban was selected from among many applicants from around the world to participate in the prestigious Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program for Fall 2010 and Spring 2011. Ayat Al-Jarousha, a math graduate, was offered a graduate research scholarships from the University of Waterloo (UW) and the University of Western Ontario (UWO). She decided to join the actuarial mathematics graduate program at UWO. Farah El Nachar, another graduate, has been admitted to the Master of Science in Mathematics Program at American University of Beirut (AUB).
The department has recently completed a research work station consisting of two servers which will be remotely accessed from faculty computers and four workstations located in the Math Learning Center. The software available in the department to support faculty and graduate students research activities include all the latest ones such as Mathematica, MathLab, Maple 11, Minitab, Magma, Win Edit (Latex), Scientific Word, Math Type as well as Microsoft Word. The department has also established a smart resources room that will be used as a Math Learning Center, an evening smart classroom and as a seminar and conference room. The room contains interactive whiteboard model, Logitech professional presenter, wide screen interactive writing panel, top-of-the-line video conferencing equipment, short throw LCD/DLP projector, LCD full HD TV, specialized computers as well as high resolution document cameras.