Razzaghi selected as Fulbright Scholar in Romania

Mississippi State's mathematics and statistics department head will spend part of the 2011-12 academic year in Romania as a Fulbright Scholar.

Mohsen Razzaghi will teach and research at the Technical University of Civil Engineering in Bucharest, Romania. He begins his Fulbright appointment this month.

He said coming from a multicultural background, he feels comfortable adapting to new cultures.

"I feel very fortunate to be chosen for this very prestigious program," Razzaghi said. "It will be a great opportunity to study the teaching culture and educational system of Eastern Europe."

The MSU scholar has a personal interest in Romania. He visited the nation twice to present research at academic conferences, and he said he admires the people and geographic beauty of the country bordering the Black Sea.

After graduating from high school in Tehran, the Iran native received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Sussex in England. He received his master's degree in applied mathematics at the University of Waterloo in Canada before returning to the University of Sussex to complete a doctoral degree in mathematics.

The Romanian university has an active program for graduate students that leads to doctorates in fields of civil, mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineering, along with master's degree programs in multiple engineering fields. Additionally, the university has a civil engineering degree program taught in English.

"I am quite certain that I will adjust to and enjoy living in a different culture," Razzaghi said. "Mathematics is an international discipline, so I already work closely with many people from a variety of countries."

While in Romania, he will lead graduate-level seminars and workshops featuring techniques he developed for the study of "orthogonal functions and wavelets in dynamical systems and engineering." He will also research reasons for comparatively high success Romanian high school students have in learning mathematics.

Stephen Cottrell, assistant director of the International Institute at MSU and campus Fulbright representative for faculty, said Razzaghi's extensive academic leadership and scholarship will help make his experience a success. He said Razzaghi makes a great ambassador for the university and the Fulbright program.

"I have no doubt that results of his research coupled with the Romanian faculty and student connections he will make will go far in helping actualize our university's global mission," Cottrell said.

The federal government's flagship international exchange, the Fulbright program seeks to increase mutual understanding between the United States and other nations. It receives funding primarily from an annual appropriation by Congress through the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Fulbright recipients complete a competitive process as part of selection based on academic or professional achievements, along with demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 150 nations throughout the world.

Since legislation by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas established the Fulbright program in 1945, it has provided about 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists opportunities for studying, teaching, researching, exchanging ideas, and contributing to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Robbie S. Ward | University Relations

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