Chancellor Michael Drake presented the UC Irvine Alumni Association’s top honor at the annual Lauds & Laurels celebration on Thursday, May 16. Dr. Edward Thorp received the Extraordinarius Award for his contributions to UC Irvine and to mathematical theory. Thorp founded the university’s Department of Mathematics, and he and his late wife, Vivian, funded an endowment to attract talented mathematicians to UC Irvine. He is widely known for his research that led to a famous card-counting strategy for winning at blackjack. He also co-created the world’s first wearable computer, designed to improve the odds of winning in roulette. In 1969, Thorp launched the first market-neutral hedge fund, which evolved into one of the most successful in the country, and he now runs his own investment company in Newport Beach.