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Math Mavens

Goran Milic, Omari-Khalid Rahman and Salif Kabore were recognized by a New York State math association.
Goran Milic, Omari-Khalid Rahman and Salif Kabore were recognized by a New York State math association.
May 1, 2012

This semester, two BMCC students and one recent graduate received Math scholarships from NYSMATYC, the New York State Mathematics Association of Two Year Colleges.

This year, NYSMATYC granted scholarships to 10 community college students. Of those 10, three are from BMCC.

The 2011-2012 scholars are Omari-Khalid Rahman, Goran Milic and Salif Kabore.


Founded in Syracuse in 1967, NYSMATYC is the first two-year college mathematics organization in the United States, and is a recognized leader in the two-year college movement.

Over the years, many BMCC students have received NYSMATYC scholarships, which are based on a student’s grade point average, interest and skill level in math, and recommendations from professors.

NYSMATYC awards are granted to mathematics students in New York State who expect to transfer from a two-year college and plan to continue their studies in mathematics or a related field.

An interest in economics

Omari-Khalid Rahman, who grew up in Jamaica, received a $600 scholarship. He credits his mom for keeping him focused.

“My mom had a meeting with one of my teachers back in Jamaica, who told her I was missing classes,” recalls Rahman. “My mom gave me a look, and I shaped up.”

When a pre-BMCC Rahman focused on his schoolwork and stopped skipping class, he recognized his aptitude for math.

Rahman, who cites math professors Klement Teixeira and Frederick A.  Reese as two of his mentors, plans to study economics at Hunter College this fall.

“Economics is the study of how people make decisions; how society as a whole makes decisions,” he says. “It’s not necessarily about numbers. That’s what I like about it.”

“Ivy-League” classes

Goran Milic received $600 from NYSMATYC and credits Professor Sofya Nayer for advising him to major in math.

Milic, who tutors fellow students, grew up in Serbia where his “good foundation” in math led to academic physics competitions, in which he competed against other students before moving to New York.

“I honestly believe some of my BMCC courses have been Ivy League caliber,” he says.

Milic hopes to “continue on” with math by eventually becoming a professor.

Higher Ed prep

Salif Kabore, a BMCC alumnus currently enrolled at Hunter College grew up in Africa’s Ivory Coast. He received $400 from NYSMATYC.

“I had many wonderful professors at BMCC, such as Professor Elena Nogina,” he says. “She really prepared me for the math courses at Hunter College.”

No rushing

Kabore believes that math can be tedious, but “just like real life, it’s not just going to come to you—you’ve got to work hard for it.”

Rahman agrees with Kabore, and shares an inspirational quote by American mathematician and educator Sheldon Axler:

"You cannot expect to read mathematics the way you read a novel. If you zip through a page in less than an hour, you are probably going too fast."

“I like this quote—it reminds me to stay focused,” explains Rahman. “In fact, after we finish this interview, I’m going home to pull a math all-nighter.”

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