2008 Undergraduate Award Winners

Prof. Irving Herman distributed 4 undergraduate awards to outstanding seniors in Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics, and Materials Science and Engineering at the annual SEAS Senior Awards Dinner on April 29, 2008 in the Low Rotunda.

Tian Xie
Applied Mathematics Faculty Award Winner

The Applied Mathematics Faculty Award is awarded to an outstanding senior in the Applied Mathematics program. This year’s award winner, Tian Xie, was born in 1986 in Beijing, China and moved to Boston, Massachusetts with his family in 1989. He has been deeply involved with many student groups, most notably the Asian American Alliance, of which he was Chair 2006-2007, and the Columbia University Chapter of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematicians (SIAM), of which he was President 2007-2008. He has also spent time studying abroad in both Beijing and Shanghai. He plans to stay in New York City where he will be working at the investment management firm BlackRock.

Yoni BenTov & Dennis Boyle
Applied Physics Faculty Award Winners

The Applied Physics Faculty Award is usually awarded to an outstanding graduating senior in the Applied Physics program. This year it was awarded to two outstanding graduating seniors.

Yoni BenTov is interested in a wide range of theory in physics. He has taken a series of advanced courses in physics and mathematics and has excelled in them. This term he volunteered, without pay, to be the teaching assistant in the challenging biophysics modeling course he had taken earlier. He will be studying particle physics theory in the doctoral program at UCSB.

Dennis Boyle graduated from Verona High School in 2004 and then started at Columbia University. He has taken a broad selection of applied physics and applied math classes, including several advanced graduate classes in plasma physics, and he excelled in all of them. He has conducted research on the Columbia Non-neutral Torus plasma physics experiment since 2005. He spent last summer at Princeton studying ways to detect dust in large fusion experiments. He will be entering the doctoral program in plasma physics at Princeton.

Stephen Choy

Materials Science & Engineering, Francis B. F. Rhodes Prize Winner

The Francis B. F. Rhodes Prize was established in 1926 by Eben Erskine Olcott of the Engineering Class of 1874, in memory of his classmate, Francis Bell Forsyth Rhodes, School of Mines, 1874, and is awarded from time to time to the member of the graduating class in materials science and metallurgical engineering who has shown the greatest proficiency in his or her course of study.

This year’s winner, Stephen Choy, graduated from Upper Canada College in 2004 before matriculating at Columbia. He pursued a major in Materials Science and Engineering program and maintained a 4.0 average, while setting his sights for medicine. Aside from focusing on his studies, he pursued research interests in the Materials Science program under the direction of Prof. I.C. Noyan and at the NY State Psychiatric Institute Molecular Imaging Division. He also served as a member and later as president of the Chinese Students Club. He plans to pursue his MD degree at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

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