News In Brief

THE RIGHT GUYS FOR THE JOB

Last week, the state Senate in Indiana voted to approve a bill that would confer official recognition on the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The sponsors: James Lewis (D) and J. Murray Clark (R). The explorers and their party of locally recruited followers left what is now Clarksville, Ind., Oct. 26, 1803, for their three-year trek to the Pacific.

NOW I FIND OUT

Ceresco, Neb., resident Richard Allen wrote to the US Army not long ago because he thought he might be eligible for a Good Conduct Medal based on his World War II combat experience in Europe. When the fighting ended and the awards were being handed out, Allen already was back in the US for his wedding, so he didn't get one. But as it turns out, he was right. So, late last month the medal arrived in the mail. And so did 10 others he'd earned, such as a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and an Expert Infantryman Badge. Said the astonished ex-soldier: "I didn't expect all this."

Racial disparities especially acute in math PhD programs

Only 15 of the 1,119 doctorates awarded last year in math by US colleges and universities went to black students - a number that's rarely exceeded 10 annually over the past two decades, according to an American Mathematical Society study. Schools in predominately black areas often don't expose students to math concepts that prepare them well enough for college-level courses, says Jim Maxwell, associate executive director of the society. The total math PhDs awarded over the past decade by US schools compared to those earned by blacks:

All students blacks

1999-00 1,119 15

1998-99 1,133 12

1997-98 1,216 11

1996-97 1,158 9

1995-96 1,153 9

1994-95 1,226 6

1993-94 1,059 3

1992-93 1,202 7

1991-92 1,050 6

1990-91 1,074 10

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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