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Rekha Thomas receives the Warfield fellowship

Submitted by Rose Choi on July 1, 2019 - 9:14am
Rekha Thomas
Rekha Thomas

The Robert B. Warfield, Jr., term faculty fellowship was established in 2014 to provide funds to members of the faculty to support their research. Steffen Rohde held the fellowship from 2014 to 2017; Rekha Thomas is the current holder. In contrast to an endowed faculty fellowship, which is funded permanently through the income of an endowment, a term fellowship is funded for a fixed number of years by the direct gift of the required funds. For its first five years, the Warfield fellowship has been made possible through the use of discretionary departmental funds. Now, a donor couple has agreed to provide $5000 per year for at least the next three years as funding for the fellowship.

Bob Warfield made fundamental contributions to abelian group theory and non-commutative algebra. He was passionate about teaching and about his students. Before "active learning" was common parlance, Bob practiced it, whether in classes of 20 (graduate algebra) or 600 (what is now Math 111-112). He participated actively in departmental affairs, including his service as department chair from 1985 to 1988. His untimely death in 1989, at the age of 49, left an unfathomable hole. The donors have requested that in awarding the Warfield fellowship, the department give preference to faculty members who demonstrate excellence, as Bob did, in both research and teaching.

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