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Mathematician made music with numbers

"Of the three great passions in Marty's life, the one that always came first was his family. The second was his mission as a teacher. The third was music."
-Professor of Mathematics Zbigniew Nitecki, longtime friend and colleague

The late Professor Martin Guterman was as passionate about classical music as he was about mathematics. So it was appropriate that the benefit for an award in his name should be a concert.

Performances by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Yehudi Wyner on piano and Guterman's daughter, Beth, on viola were featured in the musical program presented April 30 in Alumnae Hall at Aidekman Arts Center to support the Guterman Award in Mathematics.

Given annually to the first-year student with the highest academic achievement in mathematics, the Guterman Award honors the memory of the beloved professor who passed away in 2004 after a 38-year teaching career at Tufts devoted to winning minds to the joy and beauty of math.

On the concert program were selections from Mozart, Bartok, Tufts Associate Professor of Music John McDonald, and the Romanian composers Stefan Niculescu and Dan Dediu, with featured performances by Ray Jackendoff, Seth Merrin Professor of Philosophy, on clarinet, and McDonald himself, on piano.

Guest performers were Irina Muresanu on violin, the younger Guterman on viola, and on piano, Wyner, who just had been named winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

At the event Prof. Guterman was recalled as "a great teacher and a kind person," said Jason Richards, A09, this year's recipient of the Guterman Award.

"It is an honor to have won the award in his memory," Richards said. "Winning it has been the highlight of my first year at Tufts.

"I was very surprised to find out that I had won. I've met so many talented math students at Tufts - it's a pity the awards committee couldn't give the Guterman Award to multiple students.

"There are so many opportunities for research both at Tufts and in the outside community. Hopefully, the award will allow me to take advantage of those opportunities during my college years."

The Martin Guterman Award furthers a great teacher's legacy at Tufts by encouraging talented young scholars to pursue further study in mathematics. You can help by making a contribution toward its endowment.

For information on making a gift to the Guterman Award Fund, please contact:
Brigette A. Bryant
Senior Director of Development
Tufts University - School of Arts & Sciences
80 George Street, Suite 300-2
Medford, MA 02155
tel: 617-627-6797
fax: 617-627-3790
brigette.bryant@tufts.edu