American Mathematical Society Honors Harvey Mudd Professor

Harvey Mudd College Professor of Mathematics Alfonso Castro became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) earlier this month. The Fellows program “recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics,” according to the society’s website. 

The published list of 2015 Fellows cited Castro’s work on nonlinear analysis and elliptic partial differential equations, along with his “service to individual departments and the larger community.”

Fellow mathematics professor Arthur Benjamin nominated Castro for the Fellows program.  

“Through the publication of over eighty research papers, two books, several monographs, direction of multiple doctoral dissertations, masters and undergraduate theses, Alfonso Castro has contributed to the advance of mathematical knowledge and the preparation of new generations of mathematicians and mathematically trained scientists,” Benjamin wrote in his nomination letter.

Castro has worked at Harvey Mudd for the last 11 years and has helped many students pursue doctorate degrees in mathematics and related areas.

“I have derived a lot of satisfaction out of preparing the students to go to graduate school,” Castro said. “All the students that have done thesis with me have gone on to get Ph.D. degrees at very good places.”

Sam Pramodh HM ’15, who is applying to graduate schools to pursue his interest in physics, said Castro’s graduate sequence in analysis was highly influential in inspiring his studies.

“I have been lucky to have taken almost two courses per year from Professor Castro,” Pramodh wrote in an email to TSL. “In fact, from basic analysis, to independent studies on various topics in the literature, I have learnt a great proportion of my mathematics knowledge from him.”

“Though I am applying to physics graduate schools,” Pramodh added, “my experience learning PDE [Partial Differential Equations] theory under Professor Castro has influenced my taste in physics as well.”

L. G. de Pillis, the mathematics department chair, said that Castro joins two other mathematics faculty members who are also AMS fellows. The college’s president, Maria Klawe, is an AMS fellow as well. 

“It is a true distinction to be appointed as an AMS fellow,” Pillis said. 

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