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2007 Mentor Award Recipient

2007 Award Recipients

AAAS Mentor Award


Carlos Castillo-Chavez

Carlos Castillo-Chavez is recognized for demonstrating extraordinary leadership in mentoring and securing funding to foster Ph.D. careers for underrepresented students in mathematics and biological sciences.

The AAAS Mentor Award, established in 1996, honors members of the Association who have mentored significant numbers of students from underrepresented groups or who have impacted the climate of a department, college, or institution to significantly increase the diversity of students pursuing and completing doctoral studies in the sciences. This award is directed toward individuals in the early or mid-career stage who have mentored student for less than 25 years. The recipient receives $5,000 and a commemorative plaque.

Carlos Castillo-Chavez is a University Regents and the Joaquin Bustoz Jr. Professor at Arizona State University (ASU).

His research program is carried out at the interface of the natural and social sciences, and it puts emphasis on the role of dynamic social landscapes on disease evolution. Currently, his research efforts focus on problems at the interface of homeland security and disease invasions (natural or deliberate) and on models for the spread of social “diseases” that involve addiction.

Before joining the staff at ASU, Dr. Castillo-Chavez held the position of Stanislaw M. Ulam Distinguished Scholar at the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Around that time, he was named Honorary Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University in China. Previous to this post, he spent 18 years at Cornell University where he held joint professorships in the Departments of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology and Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.

Dr. Castillo-Chavez is a member of the Santa Fe Institute’s external faculty and is an Adjunct Professor at Cornell University. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Committee for the Review of the Evaluation Data on the Effectiveness of NSF-Supported and Commercially Generated Mathematics Curriculum Materials at the National Academies, and co-authored the report. He is also a member of the Arizona Governor’s P-20 Council’s Mathematics Alignment Team.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Castillo-Chavez is the Executive Director of two institutes: the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute, which focuses on providing research opportunities at the interface of the biological, computational, and mathematical sciences from the undergraduate to the graduate and postdoctoral levels, and SUMS (Strengthening the Understanding of Mathematics and Science). These institutes also provide university experiences for students of economically disadvantaged groups with the goal of increasing the number of U.S. underrepresented minorities who earn a Ph.D. degree in the mathematical sciences. His summer program, established in 1996 and held at various times over the past 11 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Cornell University, was just recognized in 2007 by the American Mathematical Society as a “Mathematics Program that Makes a Difference.”

Dr. Castillo-Chavez has received numerous awards including two White House Awards, the 2002 SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) Distinguished Scientist Award, and the Richard Tapia Award. He has co-authored more than 150 publications and edited or co-authored seven books.

Please click here for a list of past recipients.