A retirement reception for Jim Lewis, Aaron Douglas Professor of mathematics, will be held 4-7 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Wick Alumni Center Great Hall.
The reception is free and open to the public. There will be hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Whether attending or not, the RSVP form has an option to leave a message of well wishes for Lewis.
Of his 52 years at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lewis spent 15 of them chairing the Department of Mathematics and 20 directing the Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education, where he helped secure more than $40 million in grants. Lewis served in the Education and Human Resources Directorate of the National Science Foundation, first as deputy assistant director and later as acting assistant director from 2015–18. Lewis served as president of the Faculty Senate for the 1987–88 academic year.
Since returning to Nebraska in 2018, he has been the director of STEM research initiatives in the Office of Research and Economic Development and the principal investigator of a multi-institutional $3.5 million grant from the NSF for STEM CONNECT. More than 130 academically talented, low-income students with interest in careers in mathematics or computer science have received scholarships and mentoring, including 63 students at Nebraska U. With a goal to promote diversity within those disciplines, STEM CONNECT’s current cohort has 30 students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 16 of whom are transfer students from Southeast Community College or Western Nebraska Community College.
A commutative algebraist and national leader in mathematics education, Lewis is a fellow of the American Mathematical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In the 2000s, Lewis led two large Math Science Partnership projects from NSF to provide extensive professional development for K–12 mathematics teachers, including Math in the Middle (for grades 4–9 teachers) and NebraskaMATH, which had components for elementary mathematics specialists (K–3), algebra teachers (grades 8–10), and novice secondary teachers.
These large projects were followed by an NSF Robert Noyce Scholarship Program Teaching Fellowship and Master Teaching Fellowship grant in 2011, designed to recruit outstanding candidates to become mathematics teachers in high-need schools or support mathematics leaders in high-need Nebraska schools.
From about 1975–95, Lewis was active in the Lincoln Track Club, serving as its president five times. He was also the official race course measurer for the states of Iowa and Nebraska. He helped create and then measured many of the city’s road races including the Buffalo Run, the Lincoln Marathon and the Mayor’s Run for elementary-aged children.
In 1987, Lewis was appointed to what was then called the City of Lincoln’s Recreation Trails Advisory Committee, serving as chair for two years. During the time he was on the committee, a plan was developed where everyone in Lincoln would live within one mile of an off-street trail that connected to other trails leading to downtown Lincoln and Nebraska U campus. That plan has largely been realized.
Questions about the reception can be sent to email@example.com.