UTEP Mathe-musician’s Project Earns NSF Accolade
Last Updated on May 29, 2019 at 12:00 AM
Originally published May 20, 2019
By UC Staff
The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced that a team of researchers co-led by The University of Texas at El Paso’s Lawrence Lesser, Ph.D., professor of mathematical sciences, had won a grand prize at the NSF’s inaugural “We Are Mathematics” video competition.
A video produced by a team of researchers co-led by The University of Texas at El Paso’s Lawrence Lesser, Ph.D., professor of mathematical sciences, won a grand prize at the National Science Foundation's inaugural “We Are Mathematics” video competition.
The NSF presented the $3,000 award to Lesser and members of his team at its headquarters on May 3, 2019, before the National Math Festival in Washington, D.C.
The competition’s goal was to bring mathematics to life and encourage the study of advanced mathematics and research in mathematical sciences. Lesser’s video won the Mid/Advanced Career category. The festival, which drew about 20,000 people, screened the video.
“I was thrilled by every part of this experience,” said Lesser, who has won multiple awards as an educator and songwriter. “This project has been the most creative and fascinating interdisciplinary project of my career.”
Lesser said several UTEP colleagues and students played a major role in the project. He specifically praised the Department of Music’s Dominic Dousa, D.A., professor of music theory, aural skills and composition, and Stephen Haddad, commercial music area coordinator.
The group’s NSF-funded Project SMILES (Student-Made Interactive Learning with Educational Songs) created and is assessing an online collection of 26 high-quality, interactive songs that span learning objectives of introductory statistics.