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“Mathematician’s Mathematician” honored by Reed College

The Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology was presented to Daniel Bump ’74 at Reed convocation

PORTLAND, OR (August 24, 2006) -- Daniel Bump, a Reed College alumnus and professor of mathematics at Stanford University who is a key figure in multiple Dirichlet series, received the Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology from his alma mater.

The Vollum Award, established in 1975 as a tribute to the late C. Howard Vollum, a 1936 Reed graduate and lifelong friend of the college, is presented each year at opening convocation ceremonies for incoming students and their families. Winners are selected for the perseverance, fresh approach to problems and solutions, and creative imagination that characterized Vollum's career. This year, convocation ceremonies took place on August 23 on the Reed campus.

Bump is “an industrious, selfless, steadfast mathematician’s mathematician,” said Joseph Buhler, Reed professor emeritus of mathematics. “He is able to bridge chasms between different mathematical fields and personal temperaments to contribute to the broader discipline of mathematics as a true team player.”

Bump, who grew up in Forest Grove, Ore., graduated from Reed in 1974, earned his doctorate at the University of Chicago, and joined Stanford faculty in 1986. He is the 5th alumnus among 31 Vollum Award winners.

His research is in automorphic forms, representation theory, and number theory, and he was one of the organizers of the first conference on multiple Dirichlet series in 2005.

In 1989, his work in L-series mathematics yielded a major breakthrough when, in conjunction with others, Bump proved that certain infinite sums of imaginary numbers do not vanish, thus solving an instance of the Birch-Swinnerton-Dyer Conjecture, a mathematical gauntlet laid down by the Clay Mathematics Institute.

Bump is the author several books, including the well-received Automorphic Forms and Representations (Cambridge University Press, 1999), and has published over 65 papers in various publications, including Annals of Mathematics and Inventiones, which is perhaps the most prestigious mathematics journal in the world.

Apart from his academic career, Bump is also one of the original, central programmers for GNU Go, an artificial intelligence project to create a computer program that can play a moderately competitive game of Go (Wei-Chi, Baduk), the ancient and complex Japanese board game featured in the opening scenes of the film “A Beautiful Mind.” A collaborative effort that Bump still contributes to in his spare time, GNU Go is free software, available for download on the Internet.