Mathematics Seniors Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and Honorable Mentions

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Senior honors mathematics major Adam Boocher received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Award. He s one of only 26 mathematics majors in the country to be so honored. Four other senior honors mathematics majors Jacob Hughes, Ben Fehrman, Matt Gunden and alumnus Zach Madden ’07 received honorable mentions from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

Boocher will study at the University of California Berkeley with a focus on algebra or number theory. He expects to work with David Eisenbud, whose Eisenbud-Mazur Conjecture with Barry Mazur was the focus of Boocher’s senior thesis with adviser Claudia Polini. While at Notre Dame Boocher completed REU programs at Williams College, Claremont Colleges, and the University of Notre Dame.

Jacob Hughes will be attending the University of California at San Diego where he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics. Ben Fehrman who was a Goldwater Scholar plans to attend the University of Chicago where he will complete a Ph.D. in mathematics. Matt Gunden will pursue a Ph.D. in economics at Northwestern University. Recent alumnus Zach Madden is a current Ph.D. student in mathematics at the University of Chicago.

In addition to being in the honors program, all of these students were members of SUMR, the Seminar for Undergraduate Mathematical Research, a program for the most gifted mathematics students at the University of Notre Dame. Thirty-two SUMR students have received national fellowships since 1990, and nearly all SUMR graduates have completed graduate work at some of the nation’s leading universities.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program provides students with three years of funding— up to $121,500— for research-focused master’s and Ph.D. degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The purpose of the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program is to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and to reinforce its diversity. NSF Fellows are expected to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering.

Eight Mathematics Majors Receive Fellowships

This is a record year for senior mathematics majors to receive fellowships. In addition to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship award to Adam Boocher and honorable mentions to Jacob Hughes, Ben Fehrman, Matt Gunden and alumnus Zach Madden, four honors mathematics majors have received fellowships to attend prestigious graduate schools.

Andrew Fanoe received a fellowship from Columbia University where he plans to complete a Ph.D. in mathematics. Andrew Karl received a fellowship from Arizona State and will purse a Ph.D. in statistics. Phil Hudelson received a fellowship from Penn State where he plans to complete a Ph.D. in mathematics. Zach Lamberty received a fellowship from Cornell University where he plans to obtain a Ph.D. in physics. All of these outstanding students were also members of SUMR.