Mussmann wins coveted Ross Award for outstanding Purdue senior


For the second year in a row, a College of Science student won the G. A. Ross Award, which goes to an outstanding senior man in honor of his contributions to Purdue University.

And for the second year in a row, the awardee was surprised mid-class by the announcement.

Steve Mussmann, a Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics major, was in the middle of his Computational Statistics class when professors, department heads and advisors busted in to announce the award. Mussmann and his classmates were stunned then elated by the award announcement.

“Stephen has engaged in undergraduate research since arriving at Purdue, working with five professors along the way,” announced Chris Greggila, Purdue dean of students, during the surprise. “This past summer, Stephen worked with Bloomberg in software development.”

The 2014 Ross Award went to Austin Childs, a Statistics and Mathematics major now at Stanford University earning his master’s degree in Statistics. Mussmann will be joining Childs at Stanford as a Computer Science graduate student, after he completes his summer internship at Google.

While academics weigh heavily in the Ross Award choosing, community and campus service also factor in. Among Mussmann’s noteworthy accomplishments outside of class:

  • Raised funds for the Special Olympics through the Polar Plunge

Mussmann soared academically. Officially, he has an amazing six majors: Mathematics (Honors), Statistics (Honors), Applied Mathematics, Mathematics and Statistics, Mathematics with Computer Science, and Computer Science. He also has a Physics and Astronomy minor.

Greggila concluded, “The Ross Award is an acknowledgement of his scholarship, leadership, character and service to the University and community. In summary, the award is recognition of an exemplary pattern of student life. The award, which has been given out since 1959, was made possible through a gift from Mr. G. A. Ross, Purdue Class of 1916.

“In addition to this citation, Stephen will receive a medal, a certificate, a monetary award of $1000, and his name will be inscribed on the permanent awards marker on the Purdue Engineering Mall.” 


Steve Mussmann (middle) won the 2015 G. A. Ross Award. Here he is with various professors that have helped him along the way.


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