The Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States has selected MurphyKate Montee as a Churchill Scholar for the academic year 2013-2014. She will use the scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom for her Master of Advanced Studies (Part III) in Theoretical Mathematics with a focus on geometry and topology.
As one of 14 students in the United States selected for the scholarship this year, Montee is only the second student from Notre Dame to receive this prestigious award. The Churchill Scholarship will cover the majority of her expenses at Cambridge, including tuition and fees, a living allowance, and transportation to and from the United Kingdom.
Montee is senior honors mathematics and music (voice) double major. She has participated in two Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs during her summers, which included studying polynomials of recursive ribbon graphs at Louisiana State University and studying knot theory at Williams College. She is also a member of the Seminar for Undergraduate Mathematical Research (SUMR), a program designed for the most talented mathematics students at Notre Dame. She is currently completing an honors thesis, titled “On the Construction of Chern Classes of Complex Vector Bundles.”
As a talented and accomplished student, Montee has received several awards and scholarships including the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship, the Notre Dame Provost’s Scholarship, the Notre Dame Reilly Trustee Scholarship, and the Bordui Foundation Scholarship. She was also the winner of the 2012 Alice T. Schafer Mathematics Prize, which is awarded to the top female undergraduate mathematician in the United States. She was the first Notre Dame student to win this prize.
"Undergraduates of Notre Dame's Honors Mathematics Program have an exemplary record of winning national fellowships," said Frank Connolly, professor of mathematics and director of SUMR. "Since 1990, they have won 44 national fellowships or scholarships pursuant to graduate work in the mathematical sciences."
After completing her year at Cambridge, Montee plans to pursue doctoral studies in mathematics at a university in the United States.