Texas Tech University

Leading the Way

TTU mathematics major and chess champion Claudia Munoz

Mathematics Major Claudia Munoz Receives Trjitzinsky Award

10. 25.2019

Claudia Munoz, a mathematics major from Wichita Falls, is one of only eight students nationwide this year to receive a $3,000 award from the Waldemar J. Trjitzinsky Memorial Fund. The award was presented by the American Mathematical Society.

Munoz found her love for math as a youngster who was intrigued by the beauty of numbers. At the age of 6, she learned to play chess and went on to become a national and international chess champion. Throughout her chess career, Munoz has represented the United States in eight countries at top tournaments that include the World Junior Chess Championship. She is ranked as a Woman Candidate Master with a United States Chess Federation (USCF) rating of 2050. (A USCF rating of 2200 is considered a Chess Master.) She is a member of the Texas Tech Chess team and president of the Knight Raiders Chess Club.

Her unified love for math and chess led her to Texas Tech University, where she has studied with professors who have mentored her in becoming a mathematician. She recently participated in the Math in Moscow program—she's taking a double-minor in Russian and in English—where she was able to grow in her chosen field.

In the future, Munoz desires to open her own math and chess school and wants to take part in teaching the next generation of mathematicians.

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About the Waldemar J. Trjitzinsky Memorial Award

The Waldemar J. Trjitzinsky Memorial Fund is made possible by a bequest from the estate of Waldemar J., Barbara G., and Juliette Trjitzinsky. The will of Barbara Trjitzinsky stipulates that the income from the bequest should be used to establish a fund in honor of the memory of her husband to assist needy students in mathematics. 

Waldemar J. Trjitzinsky was born in Russia in 1901 and received his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1926. He taught at a number of institutions before taking a position at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he remained for the rest of his professional life. He showed particular concern for students of mathematics and in some cases made personal efforts to ensure that financial considerations would not hinder their studies. Trjitzinsky was the author of some 60 mathematics papers, primarily on quasi-analytic functions and partial differential equations. A member of the American Mathematics Society (AMS) for 46 years, he died in 1973.

The AMS administers the award and chose eight geographically distributed schools to receive one-time awards of $3,000 each. The schools are selected in a random drawing from the pool of AMS institutional members. Then, the mathematics departments at those schools select the students who will receive the funds to assist them in pursuit of careers in mathematics. 

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