Chang He ’16 wins national mathematics award

Posted by Centre News in International Students, Math, News 20 Jan 2016

Chang HeChang He ’16, a mathematics and economics major at Centre College, recently presented a poster with her project partner at the 2016 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Seattle, Wash., where it won the Outstanding Presentation award.

Entitled “Mixing Time in Robotic Exploration,” the poster focuses on stochastic modeling and is the result of a 2015 summer research project He participated in at the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics at Brown University. This Research Experience for Undergraduates program was funded through the National Science Foundation.

He was in good company at the Joint Mathematics Meeting, which is the largest annual meeting of mathematicians with more than 6,000 international attendees. The poster competition alone included more than 300 undergraduate student participants.

Several of He’s experiences at Centre contributed toward her winning the award, she said, including presenting at the 2013 Bluegrass Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium on a summer project featuring fluid mechanics that she worked on with a professor from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She also worked on a project pertaining to differential equations with Centre Assistant Professor of Mathematics Ellen Swanson in 2014. He has presented both of these projects at Centre’s annual RICE Symposium and plans to discuss her recent work conducted at Brown at this spring’s event.

“The math program at Centre College has helped me tremendously in winning this award,” He said. “Dr. Ellen Swanson and Dr. Jeffrey Heath both wrote recommendation letters for me when I applied to the summer program last spring. Without their recommendations, I would not have gotten into the summer research program at Brown, and of course I would not have won this award.

“I would especially like to thank Dr. Heath for offering me insightful comments as I revised my poster before presenting at this conference.”

He credits the Centre mathematics program as a whole with giving her the background she needed to succeed. She has taken nearly all the 300-level mathematics courses that the College offers, which gave her the background and confidence to conduct research at Brown. Additionally, as a John C. Young Scholar, this rigorous exposure to applications of mathematics has aided her in a research project examining economic convergence in China.

“My sincere gratitude to the entire mathematics program at Centre for preparing their students with sufficient skills and knowledge to conduct research in mathematics and other related fields,” she said.

Learn more about the Joint Mathematics Meetings.

by Elise L. Murrell
January 20, 2016