Headshot of Professor Stephan Garcia

W.M. Keck Distinguished Service Professor and Professor of Mathematics Stephan Garcia (Photo by Gizem Karaali)

The first Mary P. Dolciani Prize for Excellence in Research from the American Mathematical Society (AMS) will be awarded to Pomona College Professor of Mathematics Stephan Ramon Garcia. He is being recognized for his outstanding record of research in operator theory, complex analysis, matrix theory and number theory, for high quality scholarship with a diverse set of undergraduates and for his service to the profession.

“This is a validation of sorts that one can do good research at an institution like Pomona College, where research and undergraduate mentorship are not in conflict with one another, as is often assumed to be case,” said Garcia.  This AMS award recognizes a mathematician, from a department that does not grant a Ph.D., who has an active research program in mathematics and a distinguished record of scholarship.

Most recently, Garcia’s mentorship was featured in the Pomona College Magazine when student Elvis Kahoro ’20 asked a seemingly random question in class one day which led to two articles, “Primitive Root Bias for Twin Primes” co-published with Kahoro and Florian Luca in Experimental Mathematics, and “Primitive Root Biases for Prime Pairs I: Existence and Non-Totality of Biases” with Luca and Tim Schaaff ’17 in J. Number Theory, volume 185.

“We have a strong student body – our students are very talented and hard-working,” says Garcia, who adds that many non-Ph.D. granting institutions produce excellent research, often with undergraduate students.

Garcia adds, “Although I am the first recipient of this prize, there are many vibrant researchers at non-Ph.D. granting institutions who are also worthy. I look forward to celebrating the achievements of future prizewinners in the years to come.”  

The prize will be awarded Thursday, January 17 during the Joint Prize Session at the 2019 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore.

Garcia is the author of 89 research papers in several areas, including operator theory, linear algebra, complex analysis, mathematical physics and number theory. His work has appeared in top research journals as well as top expository journals, and he has been the principal investigator on four National Science Foundation (NSF) research grants. Garcia’s recent books include Introduction to Model Spaces and Their Operators and A Second Course in Linear Algebra, both published by Cambridge University Press in 2016 and 2017, respectively. His latest book, Finite Blaschke Products and Their Connections was published this year by Springer.

Garcia has also co-authored more than 30 articles with undergraduate students, with papers appearing in the American Mathematical Monthly, the Notices of the American Mathematical SocietyProceedings of the American Mathematical Society, and the Journal of Number Theory, among others. His paper G. H. Hardy: mathematical biologist, written with a Hannah Christenson ’17, was included in The Best Writing on Mathematics 2016.

Garcia now serves as editor of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, the American Mathematical MonthlyProceedings of the American Mathematical SocietyAnnals of Functional Analysis, and the undergraduate research journal Involve.

He recently was appointed a 2019 fellow of the AMS for contributions to operator theory and leadership in undergraduate research and mentoring.

He earned his B.A. and Ph.D. in mathematics from UC Berkeley and was a postdoctoral fellow at UC Santa Barbara. He joined the faculty of Pomona College in 2006.