Johns Hopkins Gazette: September 12, 1994

Mathematical Sciences Grad Students Awarded Assistance
By Ken Keatley

The numbers are starting to add up for some graduate students
in the School of Engineering's Department of Mathematical
    Thanks to a $120,000 Graduate Assistance in Areas of
National Need program grant, five graduate students who are
U.S. citizens will get much-needed financial support this
academic year. Mathematical Sciences chair John Wierman said
the three-year grant may entice additional top-notch graduate
students to the Hopkins program.
    "In certain subjects, like mathematics, there are very
few Americans going on to graduate school and teaching," Dr.
Wierman said. "By providing a financial incentive, this grant
should help us draw in new students."
    The department's Graduate Assistance in Mathematical
Sciences program was one of 80 to receive GAANN funding this
year. The Hopkins program is directed by Professor Daniel Q.
Naiman; Assistant Professor Colin O. Wu is the assistant
project director.
    GAANN, administered by the Department of Education,
provides grants to academic departments and programs to
support fellowships for U.S. citizens who are students of
superior ability and demonstrate financial need. Its purpose
is to sustain and enhance the nation's capacity for teaching
and research in designated academic areas.
    Each year for three years, an average of $14,500 will be
used to defray tuition, living expenses and other educational
costs for each of five graduate students. By freeing up
departmental funds that might have gone to those students, as
many as nine other graduate students will receive support.
    "This grant allows us to shift some resources and help
some other students who were coming here without aid," Dr.
Naiman said. "And the students getting the grant money won't
have to take jobs as teaching assistants every year. They can
devote more time to their own work."
    Dr. Wierman said about 1,200 doctorates in mathematics
are awarded annually in the United States, but only about 500
to U.S. citizens. At Hopkins, the percentage is higher: 21 of
the 41 graduate students currently enrolled are U.S.
    Grants like GAANN should further help stem the "brain
drain" from mathematical sciences programs, which in recent
years have been losing students to such areas as computer
    "The general public might not see the need, but
shortages in mathematics can eventually hurt American
competitiveness," Dr. Wu said. "This grant is good for
programs like ours that are trying to grow."

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