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ASU to celebrate new School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

October 19, 2009

The School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, which serves more than 25,000 students annually, marks a new era of instruction and research at Arizona State University. A ceremony, slated for noon on Oct. 27, will publically launch the new school in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

ASU President Michael Crow will be among the speakers at the launch ceremony in Old Main Carson Ballroom on ASU’s Tempe campus. Other speakers include Quentin Wheeler, university vice president and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Sid Bacon, dean of natural sciences; and Wayne Raskind, founding director of the new school.

“We are dedicated to providing quality instruction to students who come to math from a wide variety of backgrounds, abilities and needs,” says Raskind, who came to ASU last year after 16 years at the University of Southern California, where he was professor and dean of faculty in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “Many careers today require much more training in mathematics than they did even a few years ago, and U.S. students must possess this training to compete in the global economy.

"Our goal is to have more students take more mathematics courses, at a higher level, to meet this challenge,”

The School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences was established last year by transforming the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The school has more than 100 faculty members and lecturers to meet the instructional needs of ASU students. Additionally, there are more than 100 graduate students in four doctoral programs: mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics and mathematics education.

“The change in status from a department to a school allows us to pursue our dual missions of providing quality instruction to a wide range of students and being a powerhouse of research in many aspects of the mathematical and statistical sciences,” Raskind says. “This shift makes our expertise more readily available to serve the mathematical needs of the ASU community and beyond.”

Among the vibrant research groups in the school are: analysis; chaos and non-linear dynamics; computational mathematics; control and systems theory; differential equations and mathematical biology; discrete mathematics; mathematics education; number theory/algebra; and statistics and probability.

As part of the celebration, a guest lecture is scheduled for 4 p.m. Oct. 28 in Life Sciences E Wing, Room 104. William Schmidt, a University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University, will speak on the topic of education in a global context. Schmidt is a member of the National Academy of Education. He has co-authored seven books, including “Why Schools Matter.”

Additional information about the launch ceremony and guest lecture is online at or at (480) 965-3951.