The Schoolcraft College Mathematics Department has announced the winners of the Pythagorean Prize, which is an annual award that recognizes the top three mathematics students of the academic year.
Founded by professor emeritus Larry Williams, it’s the department’s biggest prize and is now in its 26th year. To be considered, an applicant must:
- Be enrolled and have taken classes at Schoolcraft College during Fall or Winter semester of the academic year of presentation.
- Be completing or have completed at least three mathematics courses at Schoolcraft College, with at least one course at the Math 200 level or above.
- Have an overall grade point average of at least 3.25.
- Have a grade point average of at least 3.50 in mathematics courses.
- Not have been a first-place winner of this award previously.
- Have completed and submitted an application and essay by the deadline date.
This year’s winners are:
- First place: James Reddick, $3,000
- Second place: Kejsiana Kastrioti, $1,500
- Third place: Matthew Fular, $1,000
“The Pythagorean Prize recognizes the top three mathematics students of the academic year, their scholarship, and encourages them to consider careers in mathematics, or a mathematics-related field,” said Larry Choraszewski, Professor of Mathematics.
“The Prize receives a tremendous amount of support from administrators, faculty, students, local businesses, and others, and we are so grateful and blessed for that. Time and time again, we see just how much of a positive impact this award has, not only on our students, but on the community as well.
“This is a major reason why I think the Prize has the level of support it continues to have. The students who apply are some of Schoolcraft’s finest. As such, we feel a deep sense of desire to recognize them for their achievements in a special way; hence, the Prize.
Reddick, from Clinton Township, transferred to the University of Michigan during the winter semester. He is studying Electrical Engineering and might pursue a Master’s degree.
“I would like to work in a field that will help make a difference. Some of my interests are in energy, robotics, and autonomous vehicles,” he said.
Reddick said his favorite math course was Professor Randy Schwartz’s differential equations class.
“I loved his wit, humor and the many articles he would share with us about the real-world applications of our studies,” Reddick said of Schwartz, who retired last summer after a distinguished 36-year career at Schoolcraft College.
The prize amounts are made possible, in part, from a bequest from the family of Floyd and Marian Kehrl to the Schoolcraft College Foundation. Additional funds are provided by Student Services, the Science Division, and by mathematics and other instructors.
“For somebody to win (or even qualify for) the Prize, is a monumental achievement,” Choraszewski said. “Both winners and qualifiers are students who push themselves to meet—and exceed—challenges. They have the highest levels of grit and, of course, are extremely talented and gifted. Last, but certainly not least, they have an unparalleled level of love, compassion, and dedication for their peers, College, and community.
All first-place prizewinners are noted on an engraved nameplate on permanent display in the Mathematics Department’s case in the Biomedical Technology Center.
For more information about the Pythagorean Prize and Ceremony, please contact Professor Larry Choraszewski at Lchorasz@schoolcraft.edu.