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Student Spotlight

Yiwang Chen

Yiwang entered the Mathematics Ph.D. program in 2015.  Yiwang loves to read to his daughter Clementine's class during Chinese storytime.  Yiwang has enjoyed swimming since he was five years old becuase he wanted to swim like a fish and find out what is below the sea. Yiwang enjoys hiking in northern Michigan with Clementine and his wifer, Jiahou.  We are so glad to have Yiwang in our deparment!

Will Dana

Will Dana entered the Mathematics Ph.D. program in 2017.  Will loves all kinds of puzzles and games.  Will makes electronic music and is fond of taking very long walks through the city.  Will and his girlfriend, Kelsey, enjoy cooking and doing puzzles together.  Will and his brother, Andrew, share an appreciation for weird music and surreal humor. Will volunteers at Math Mondays in Ypsilanti and in the grad-undergrad Directed Reading Program. A couple of summers ago, Will enjoyed exploring Toronto while at a conference.  Will enjoys reading comics and graphic novels and has written a 20+ page story with his brother.  We are so pleased to have Will in our department!

Katie Waddle

Katie entered the Mathematics Ph.D. program in 2020.  Important people in Katie's life include her boyfriend, Michael, who is a mechanical engineer and can build or fix anything, her sisters, Sarah and Ellie, who also love to be outside, and her parents who taught her to be strong and independent.  Katie loves running, biking, hiking, camping, swimming, and just generally being outside.   Katie got into running and hiking while living in California where the ocean, mountains, and trees are enormous and incredibly beautiful.  Katie enjoys working with the Association for Women in Mathematics chapter here at U-M to build gender equity in the math community.  Katie has done a lot of traveling. Some of her favorite trips have been to Iceland to run a half marathon at midnight in the summer, and to Guatemala to learn Spanish. "I love traveling anywhere I can use my Spanish skills."  Katie reads a lot, mostly fiction, a lot of science fiction. "One of the best books I've read recently is called The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders."  Katie taught high school math in San Francisco for 8 years at a special school for newly arrived immigrant students.  Something unique about Katie:  "I know how to ask to use the restroom in 7 languages, and I'd love to learn more!"  We are so happy to have Katie in our department!

Shirlyn Wang

Shirlyn entered the Applied and Interdisciplinary Mathematics Ph.D. program in 2019.  Shirlyn's parents and close friends are important to her.  Shirlyn likes singing, playing the piano, cooking, baking, and watching TV/Youtube. Shirlyn recently started playing tennis and really likes it. Shirlyn started playing the piano when she was 6, but only grew to like it in high school. "According to early footage of me, I started to sing passionately when I was 3. I stopped playing the piano for a period of time, but I'm glad I picked it up again. These hobbies really helped to keep me sane during the pandemic."  Shirlyn recently travelled to California in the summer to visit her friends from college. "I couldn't pick a favorite vacation because each place is unique with its own culture and people. I enjoyed visiting museums in Europe, eating delicious food from all over China and Singapore, and getting close to nature in California and Yellowstone National Park."  Shirlyn listens to kpop, pop, and classical music.  Shirlyn is a big fan of the new US Open Champion, Emma Raducanu.  Shirlyn says she is not a very outgoing person, "but I think I'm pretty nice if you actually get to know me."

Berkan Yilmaz

Berkan Yilmaz entered the Mathematics Ph.D. program in 2018.  Berkan appreciates the support of his parents, as well as his mentors, both former and current.  Berkan enjoys learning languages and has for as long as he can remember.  Berkan has been to New York City.  He loves "how standing in the middle of Times Square makes one feel like a toy soldier."  Berkan enjoys watching biopics about mathematicians and scientists.  Berkan loves history and listens to university lectures whenever he finds the time.  We are so glad to have Berkan in our department!