Davander Malik, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and computer science at Creighton University, became the first recipient of the Frederick H. and Anna K. Scheerer Chair in Mathematics on Oct. 24. This is the 38th endowed chair at the University.
The chair is a gift from the estate of Anne E. Scheerer, Ph.D., and is named for her parents, Frederick H. and Anna K. Scheerer. Scheerer was a mathematics teacher and dean of Summer Sessions at Creighton University, as well as the founder of the institution’s Lifelong Learning Center and the recipient of the 1988 Mary Lucretia Creighton Award.
Scheerer provided for the gift of the chair in the hope that it would attract “a very able mathematician to Creighton and in so doing, enhance the reputation of the Math Department and the University.”
After a very successful career at Creighton, Scheerer retired in 1989 and worked with the Peace Corps for eight years. Her travels helped to enrich her love for art, and through her travels she gathered an extensive collection of original art, which she donated to Creighton in 2000.
Among her many contributions, Scheerer created a scholarship for Guyanese students in 2001. The following year she established a scholarship for commuting students from the six counties surrounding Creighton’s campus.
Malik joined the mathematics department at Creighton University in 1985.
After receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from Delhi University in India, Malik received a master’s degree in pure math from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and master’s and doctorate degrees from Ohio University, in computer science and mathematics, respectively. In addition to teaching multiple courses in mathematics and computer science, Malik’s research interests include ring theory, fuzzy algebra, fuzzy automata theory, fuzzy set theory and its applications.
He has authored or co-authored more than 45 papers and 15 books. Malik also received the Prof. Ram Behari Gold Medal from the University of Delhi, India in 1980. He is a member of The National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and was a member of the American Mathematical Society for 16 years. Malik has served on numerous University committees, worked with local high schools and businesses on curriculum and computer programming needs and is active mathematics competitions.
Malik, who attributes his love of mathematics to his father, says, “[My] overall goal is to engage every student in class, from the first row to the last row, regardless of the class size and level, and make the learning of mathematics fun and effective.”
The first Creighton University bulletin on record – 1882 – lists mathematics among the course offerings. The department has grown over the years and granted its first math degree in 1979. Creighton mathematicians have been admitted to highly regarded graduate programs and gone on to pursue careers in physics, engineering and medical research among others.