**APRIL 1998 NOTICES OF THE AMS **

**1998 Award for Distinguished Public Service**

The 1998 Award for Distinguished Public Service was presented during the 104th Annual Meeting of the AMS in Baltimore. Proper recognition for mathematicians who contribute valuable service to the profession is a matter of great importance to the Society. The continued growth and health of the discipline depends in large part on those individuals who contribute their time to public service activities in support of mathematics. To provide encouragement and recognition for such service, the AMS Council, responding to a recommendation from the Committee on Science Policy, established the Award for Distinguished Public Service. The $4,000 award is presented every two years to a research mathematician who has made a distinguished contribution to the mathematics profession through public service during the previous five years. Previous recipients of the award are Kenneth M. Hoffman (1990), Harvey B. Keynes (1992), I. M. Singer (1993), and D. J. Lewis (1995).

The 1998 Award for Distinguished Public Service was presented to KENNETH C. MILLETT. The award is made by the Council acting through a selection committee whose members at the time of this selection were: Ronald L. Graham, Harvey B. Keynes, Peter D. Lax, Everett Pitcher, and I. M. Singer. The text below contains the committeeÕs citation, a biographical sketch, and Professor MillettÕs response upon receiving the award.

**Citation** Professor Kenneth C. Millett of the University of California
at Santa Barbara has been selected by the Council of the American Mathematical
Society for the Award for Distinguished Public Service for 1998. His notable
accomplishments include his work devoted to underrepresented minority students
in mathematical science. This appears in particular in his founding of
the UCSB Achievement Program, in his direction of the mathematics component
of the Summer Academic Research Internship, and in his direction of the
residential Summer Institute in Mathematics and Science for students entering
UCSB.

**Biographical Sketch** Kenneth C. Millett is currently professor
of mathematics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was the
founding president and executive director of the California Coalition for
Mathematics and Science. He is the regional director of the California
Alliance for Minority Participation. Millett received his B.S. from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1963 and received his M.S. and
Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1964 and 1967,
respectively. Following lecturer appointments at UCLA and MIT, he joined
the faculty of the University of California in 1969. Since then he has
been a visiting professor at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques,
Princeton University, Occidental College, UCLA, MSRI, several French research
institutes and universities, most recently the Université de Provence
in Marseille, and at the LOMI, Saint Petersburg, Russia. He is married
to Janis Cox Millett, an educational consultant. He is the father of Rebecca
Millett, of New York City, and David Millett, a student at the University
of California at Santa Cruz. He was born on November 16, 1941, in Hustisford,
Wisconsin, and grew up in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, with his sisters, Diane,
Rita, and Roxanne. His parents, Clarence and Isola Millett, live in Oconomowoc
on Lac La Belle. His research interests include the geometric topology
of manifolds and knot theory. In 1985 he participated in the discovery
of new families of invariants associated to classical knots. His current
research projects are focused on the study of these algebraic invariants;
the extension to knotted graphs; the study and development of algorithms
to detect knotting, random knotting and linking of curves in space; and
the topology and geometry of spaces of polygonal knots. In addition, he
is in- terested in applications to theoretical physics, to topological
fluid dynamics, to the molecular biology of enzyme action on DNA, to the
dynamics of polymers, and to the topological structure of molecules. In
1988 he received the Carl B. Allendoerfer Award, and in 1991 he received
the Chauvenet Prize for an article on knot theory written with W. B. R.
Lickorish. He has published over forty scientific papers and edited four
research volumes. He has also written articles on mathematics education
and educational reform as well as developing materials to increase public
understanding and support for the renewal and reform of mathematics teaching
and learning. Millett has been active in efforts to reform mathematics
education in California through work with the AMS, Mathematical Association
of America, the California Mathematics Project, the California Mathematics
Council, the Mathematicians and Educational Reform Network, and the California
Coalition for Mathematics and Science. From 1985 through 1997 he was a
member of the statewide Advisory Committee of the California Mathematics
Project, which he chaired as well as chairing its Executive Committee.
Millett is the University of CaliforniaÕs representative to the
Academic Council of the College Board and was elected to its Western Regional
Council, which he now chairs. He was also elected Member-at-large of the
Section Committee of the Mathematics Section of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science. At UCSB he is the founder of the UCSB Achievement
Program, dedicated to assisting the highest level of achievement of underrepresented
minority students in mathematics and science. He has directed highly successful
mathematics components of the Summer Academic Research Internships, in
which more than a dozen minority students have worked on research projects
under his direction. He directs the three-week residential Summer Institute
in Mathematics and Science for some thirty underrepresented students in
mathematics and science entering UCSB in the fall. In 1991 he was a co-founder
of the South Coast Partnership for the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics.
The Partnership consists of individuals working to increase the mathematical
achievement of underrepresented minority students in the South Coast area
through a summer internship program and academic year programs. This program
places twenty fellows in summer school classes and awards scholarships
to underrepresented students entering mathematics and science credential
programs.

**Response** I am deeply moved to have received the 1998 Award for
Distinguished Public Service. The work it recognizes is deeply personal,
even closer to my heart than mathematics. May I explain? Within the University
of California, I serve as the Regional Director of the NSF-funded California
Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP), a project that funds much of
this work. I am also supported by a couple of my colleagues in mathematics
as well as my dean, my chancellor, and senior statewide leadership of the
University of California. And I am blessed with a family that loves me
without reservation, a family whose fidelity sustains me, and a family
whose capacity to love extends deeply into the lives of all who know them.
For as long as I can remember, our family has shared whatever it has with
others: people of all ethnicities, languages, traditions, and styles of
life. For me this has meant sharing the love, the understanding, and the
adventure of mathematics and science. The support of all these has been
essential to my continuing in this work. So I am surprised to be recognized
for doing what I love: working with dedicated, creative, intelligent young
people who have the strongest desire to learn and to succeed. I learn with
them and I learn from them. I get up each morning facing new challenges,
experiencing quite a few successes, and encountering a defeat or two along
the way. (But my dad says, "If you don't fail every once in a while,
you're just not trying hard enough!") To be recognized for this by
my colleagues, research mathematicians, and members of the American Mathematical
Society, what an amazing idea. Fellow AMS members, I wish to urge you to
join me in this effort to invite, support, and sustain all persons, independent
of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, ability or disability in their pursuit
of mathematics. While there are some who don't share this dream, may I
assure you, there are many others like you and me. Our profession's future
requires that we succeed. We can do it! My heartfelt thanks. God bless
you all.