Bergman is the next Janson Professor of Mathematics at Iowa State

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Professor Clifford Bergman is the new holder of the Janson Professorship in Mathematics at Iowa State University.

The professorship, in addition to recognizing Bergman’s professional achievements, will provide him with supplemental annual funds to advance the teaching and research efforts of the Department of Mathematics, an academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State.

"I’m excited and flattered to be selected for the Janson Professorship," said Bergman, a professor of mathematics and an ISU faculty member since 1982. He said this is a great time for young people to be joining the mathematical sciences.

"In addition to traditional fields such as physics and engineering," explained Bergman, "advances in biology and in information technology are providing new opportunities for anyone with a deep background in mathematics, statistics and computer science. I hope to use this position to make these fields accessible to as many students as possible."

Barbara Janson of Dedham, Mass., a 1965 Iowa State mathematics graduate, established the professorship to reward a research mathematician who also has a commitment to undergraduate teaching, including encouraging students to major in mathematics. She is the retired president and founder of Janson Publications.

Janson continues to be an active member of the Iowa State community. She sits on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council and the Department of Mathematics Advisory Council. She also is an ISU Foundation Governor where she serves on the Board of Directors and chairs the Investment Committee.

"Endowed faculty positions, such as the Janson Professorship, are critical to strengthening the university’s academic excellence," said Beate Schmittmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "Faculty awards help attract and retain outstanding faculty members at Iowa State. We all appreciate Barbara Janson’s continued commitment to Iowa State, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Department of Mathematics."

"Dr. Bergman has been an outstanding teacher and scholar in the Department of Mathematics," said Wolfgang Kliemann, professor and chair of mathematics. "He has taught thousands of undergraduate students over the years, and received outstanding evaluations by his students."

Bergman won an ISU teaching award in 1989, and in 2004 was selected as a Master Teacher by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Bergman has also been influential on the graduate level, and authored a graduate textbook in universal algebra in 2011. "He developed a course in cryptology," Kliemann added, "which he taught for many years and is taken by graduate students in engineering, mathematics and other areas, as well as by many students around the world online."

Bergman said he plans to use some of the Janson funds to support a training program for new graduate teaching assistants. Also on the drawing board is a lecture series on the role of the mathematical sciences in the nonacademic world.

Stephen Willson, University Professor of mathematics, was named the initial Janson Professor at ISU in 2009.


NEWS RELEASE College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Iowa State University

Contacts: Cliff Bergman, Mathematics, (515) 294-8137, Steve Jones, Liberal Arts & Sciences Communications, (515) 294-0461,

Feature story on Barbara Janson