Accepting the 2002 Blackwell-Tapia Prize

I accept this prize with a deep sense of pride, especially since it honors two mathematical pillars in our community--- professors Blackwell and Tapia.

To my wife Marcia, thank you for your unconditional love and unwavering support.

I extend my gratitude to the organizing committee for bestowing this honor. Many thanks to the sponsors MSRI, Cornell University, and IPAM for recognizing the importance of the prize and endorsing it. In particular, David Einsenbud, Michael Singer, and Robert Megginson of MSRI, Carlos Castillo-Chavez of Cornell University, and the other members of the organizing committee: Fern Hunt and co-chairs Bill Massey and Juan Meza.

The Blackwell-Tapia prize would not have been possible if it were not for the vision and tireless efforts of Carlos Castillo-Chavez. Please join me in applauding him!

I am thankful to all my friends and colleagues for taking the time to attend this event. Your presence holds a special place in my heart.

I am proud for all of us that the Blackwell-Tapia prize exits to honor mathematical excellence coupled with being a positive force for minority mathematicians.

Thank you.

A. O. Petters, November 1, 2002 (Berkeley)