Undergraduate Awards Information


For the scholarships, you may apply on your own, or be nominated by a Mathematics teacher or an advisor.

Scholarship application form, along with other information required by specific scholarships,
should be sent to mathugaward@iastate.edu or
396D Carver Hall
Ames, IA 50011

The deadline for all scholarship applications is March 1 each year.

Awards & Honors

All current awards are selected by the Mathematics Department Undergraduate Committee. Applications are neither required nor accepted.

Elmer Billman Scholarship in Mathematics

Recognizes an undergraduate Mathematics major. The scholarship is for one year and may be renewed up to 3 times (for a total of 4 awards).

To apply, submit an application form together with a letter of nomination from a faculty member.

Elmer Billman ('41) was a strong believer in education. After graduating from DePauw University he came to Iowa State College, where he had a teaching fellowship and described his experience as "at the top". Upon receiving his MS he continued his teaching at North Dakota State College, North Carolina State University, and the University of Richmond. He left teaching in 1954 and began a career in the life insurance industry as an actuary. Elmer established this scholarship to assist undergraduate students majoring in Mathematics.

James L. Cornette Scholarship or Award

Recognizes an undergraduate Mathematics major with achievements in the application of mathematics to an area of science. Recognition can take the form of a scholarship or, for a graduating student, a cash award.

To apply, submit an application form together with a letter of nomination from a faculty member.

James L. Cornette received his doctorate from the University of Texas in 1962, studying under the famous R. L. Moore. He joined the Iowa State faculty soon after, and was promoted to University Professor in 1998. Dr. Cornette began his career as a topologist, and later began applying mathematical methods to problems in the life sciences. He retired in 2000, but has remained an active member of the Mathematics Department.

Marian Daniells Mathematical Scholarship

Scholarships awarded to excellent and deserving undergraduate Mathematics majors.

Current students may submit an application form along with short nomination letters from one or two teachers.

Marian Daniells obtained her A.B. Degree from both Kalamazoo College and the University of Chicago in 1908. She came to Iowa State to complete her M.S. degree in 1919, and remained on the Mathematics faculty until her death in 1975. Marian never married, but devoted most of her life to the ISU Mathematics Department and the University in general. She was known as a “good old-fashioned school marm.” Her classes were well disciplined. She was especially helpful to students who had trouble with Mathematics because their work was not neat…she shaped them up! During her later years she was nearly blind, but still made herself available to help students as a tutor.

When Marian Daniells died at the age of 87, she left her small estate to her brother with the stipulation that when he passed away, it was to go to the Iowa State Mathematics Department to endow unrestricted scholarships. Her brother invested the money well and at the time of his death, the department received about $94,000. The interest on this money will provide scholarships to many excellent and deserving students in the years to come.

Herta & H.T. David Scholarship in Mathematics

Eligibility criteria include being an enrolled sophomore, junior or senior majoring in Mathematics with a minimum 2.5 GPA, have financial need and a challenging family background.

To apply, submit an application form along with a short statement about why your family background is challenging.

Professor H.T. David was Professor of Statistics, Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, and University Professor at ISU. He received his bachelor's degree from Harvard in 1947, his M.A. from Columbia in 1948, and his Ph.D. from Chicago in 1960. He came to ISU in 1956.

Diedrichsen Scholarship in Mathematics

Recipient will be a Mathematics major, preferably with an interest in actuarial science. Scholarship will be for one year and is renewable.

To apply, submit an application form.

Ellen and Steven Diedrichsen graduated from Iowa State University and appreciate the opportunities afforded to them through their undergraduate and graduate degree programs along with leadership development opportunities they received through the residence hall system. Ellen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and has had a rewarding and successful career as an actuary (Fellow in Society of Actuaries) as well as a mathematics teacher. Their intent is to assist recipients of this scholarship to apply their passion and interest in mathematics and/or actuarial science to an equally rewarding career.

Fred Wright Mathematics Endowed Scholarship

Recipient chosen from undergraduate Mathematics majors with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Repeat awards are possible.

To apply, submit an application form.

Fred Wright was a professor at Iowa State for over fifty years and wanted to leave his legacy with the Mathematics Department by endowing a scholarship in his name.

Fred M. Wright was born in Aurora, Illinois. In the 1940s he served in the Marines, and after service went on to earn his M.S. and Ph.D degrees in Mathematics from Northwestern University. Dr. Wright joined the Iowa State Mathematics faculty in 1953 and was promoted to Professor in 1964. Professor Wright loved teaching and working with students. He was named a “most effective instructor” for three years running in the early 2000’s. He was dedicated to doing his best to help students learn Mathematics and to helping each student reach his or her goals. He retired in 2006 and passed away in 2016 at the age of 93.

Dio Lewis Holl Awards for Outstanding Senior and Outstanding Junior

The Dio L. Holl award is given to one outstanding senior and one outstanding junior during the current academic year.

Recipients are chosen based on grade point average and excellence in math courses. No applications are accepted or required.

The award honors the memory of Dio L. Holl, who taught in the Mathematics Department of Iowa State College from 1925 until his death in 1954. Dr. Holl was professor and head of the department for nine years.

He was born in Canton, Ohio, January 7, 1895. He received an A.B. degree from Manchester College in 1917, an A.M. from Ohio State University in 1920, and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1925. He served in World War I during 1918-1919. From 1923 until 1925, Dr. Holl taught at Ohio Wesleyan University. He was appointed an assistant professor at Iowa State College in 1925.

Dr. Holl was a member of several professional and community groups, including Osborne Research Group, Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Mu Epsilon, AAAS, AMS, MAA, Iowa Academy of Science, Phi Delta Kappa, Delta Sigma Phi, the Ames Kiwanis Club, and the Ames Collegiate Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Holl married Irma Nauman, and they were the parents of Bruce R., William W. and Elizabeth. Dr. Holl’s family, as well as other friends, have contributed substantially to the award fund.

On the Iowa State Campus, Dr. Dio L. Holl was recognized as a powerful teacher both in the graduate and the undergraduate areas.

Gertrude Herr Adamson Award

The Gertrude Herr Adamson award recognizes students who have shown ingenuity in mathematics.

Recipients are chosen based on participation in Mathematics Contests and Problem of the Week. No nominations are accepted or required.

The award is given in honor of Gertrude Herr Adamson, an associate professor of Mathematics who taught at Iowa State for 39 years. She was one of the first counselors to science women and served in that capacity for 21 years. She was also a member of the YWCA advisory board for 13 years. After organizing the Science Women’s Club, she served as its faculty adviser.

Gertrude Herr was born in Abilene, Kansas, February 23, 1884. She was a 1907 graduate of Iowa State. Later she attended the University of Wisconsin, the University of Colorado, Chicago University and Iowa State. In 1917, Iowa State granted her the Master of Science degree.

From 1907 to 1912 Miss Herr taught in the Newton High School, and from 1912 to 1913 in the Humboldt High School. She was appointed to the Mathematics staff at Iowa State in 1913. She left the University faculty in 1952 when she married A. G. Adamson, a member of her 1907 graduating class.

Mrs. Adamson was a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, Sigma Delta Epsilon, Mortar Board, AAAS, MAA, AMS, Iowa Academy of Science, American Association of University Women (president of the Ames branch), American Association of University Professors, the PEO Sisterhood, League of Women Voters, and the Congregational Church.

Mrs. Gertrude Anne Herr Adamson, who died in Claremont, California, July 11, 1964, is being honored in memory by the friends who have contributed to the Gertrude Ann Herr Adamson Award fund.

Alan J. Heckenbach Award

The Alan J. Heckenbach Prize is awarded annually to an outstanding senior Mathematics major in secondary education.

Recipients are chosen based on recommendations from the faculty in Mathematics and Curriculum and Instruction. No applications are accepted or required.

Born in Chicago in 1933, Dr. Heckenbach obtained degrees in Mathematics at Northwestern University and the University of Missouri. He taught at Lake Forest College from 1955 until 1961 and at Iowa State University from 1972 until his death in 1996.

Alan Heckenbach was a quiet, patient, gentle, soft-spoken man. He loved music, gardening and fishing. He and his wife, Darlene, were gourmet cooks and dinner in their home was an event to cherish.

Professionally, Dr. Heckenbach was dedicated to the mathematical development of students. He was a disciplined worker, consistently in his office from 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. As an academic advisor, he challenged his advisees to take solid substantive courses. As a teacher, he displayed exceptional enthusiasm for mathematics and demanded that his students excel in both the fundamentals and the underlying concepts of the subject. He was particularly challenging to the more gifted students, pushing them to realize their full potential. A quote from a former student: “If I return to academia to teach after receiving a doctorate in math or physics, I hope to pass on what Dr. Heckenbach has taught me, to emulate his concern for students, and to share his passion for mathematics, as a partial repayment for the gift of his influence”.

Although this award given in Dr. Heckenbach’s memory is small in dollars, it is hoped that the recipient will appreciate some of his passion for giving and emulate his example professionally.