For the second year in a row, U-M is proud to celebrate four Goldwater Scholars! The Goldwater Scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award for undergraduates preparing for research careers in mathematics, engineering, or the natural sciences. At U-M, sophomores and juniors who apply to the U-M STEM Research Career Award are also considered for the Goldwater Scholarship and Astronaut Scholarship

Henry Fleischmann: Mathematics BS (Honors) and Computer Science BS (LSA, '23)

Henry is an LSA Sophomore in the LSA Honors Program and the Residential College. His research interests include mathematics and theoretical computer science. 

During summer 2020, Henry was able to research graph domination problems with Professor Brendan Rooney at the Rochester Institute of Technology REU in Extremal Graph Theory and Dynamical Systems. 

Since then, Henry has presented this research at the Young Mathematicians Conference, Joint Mathematics Meetings, and the Southeastern International Conference on Combinatorics, Graph Theory, and Computing.

Asked about current research endeavors, Henry shared, “Recently, I have been applying tools developed by the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group to redistricting efforts in Michigan. This work has been part of the University of Michigan Laboratory of Geometry. Our team recently gave analytical feedback to the Michigan Citizen's Independent Redistricting Commission on practice Ohio districting proposals." 

This coming summer, Henry plans to participate in the SMALL REU at Williams College, studying Number Theory and Probability Theory. He hopes to pursue graduate school in mathematics or theoretical computer science and, following graduate school, he plans to continue doing research either in industry or academia.

Henry would like to thank Sarah Koch, Stephen DeBacker, and Brendan Rooney for their continued support.

Jack Haviland: Mathematics BS (Honors) (LSA, '22)

Jack is a rising senior in LSA studying Mathematics, Computer Science, and Linguistics. He plans to attend graduate school to pursue a PhD in mathematics and do research in algebraic topology. He hopes to have a career as a research mathematician and professor. 

In summer 2020, he participated in the SMALL REU at Williams College, researching combinatorial number theory and studying generalizations of the Fibonacci sequence and more sums than difference sets.

During this time, Jack was also a mentor for the Eureka! Program working with high school students on decomposing integers using terms of a nonlinear recurrence sequence. He was also a counselor for Michigan Math and Science Scholars, a tutor for UM Math Corps, and is currently a course assistant for the honors math sequence.

The Goldwater application process helped Jack to recognize how fast everything has moved in his life and reflect upon the amazing experiences he has had in the past few years.

“I'm so grateful to all the people I met along the way, who inspired and pushed me.” 

Jack encourages future U-M STEM RCA/Goldwater applicants to take advantage of the opportunities you get and be sure to appreciate the people who inspire you along the way.

“I applied because I'm proud of the research I've done and I've known about the Goldwater scholarship for a couple of years now, so it's something I've had in mind. Also, the application process was also a great way to prepare for graduate school applications and think about how I want to continue my research in the future.” 

Jack would like to thank Sarah Koch (U-M Mathematics) and Steven J Miller (Williams College) for their support.

Sophie Kriz: Mathematics BS (Honors) (LSA, '23)

Sophie, an LSA Mathematics major and a member of the LSA Honors Program, often spends her free time doing mathematical research and has written seven research papers. Her first published paper was on a problem by Emmy Noether, a famous mathematician of the 20th century whose work and personal story inspired her deeply.

Sophie's areas of interest include algebraic geometry, algebra, and topology. To that end, when she realized her fellow students were having a difficult time accessing suitable undergraduate texts in these areas, she was inspired to co-author, "Introduction to Algebraic Geometry" (ISBN 978-3-030-62644-0). Sophie hopes this book allows algebraic geometry to be more accessible to undergraduates! 

Beyond her undergraduate degree, Sophie hopes to pursue a top-level graduate school in mathematics to learn about important current problems and methods.

"I would like to devote my life to research in mathematics and to mentoring students who are interested in pursuing the field in the future."

To future U-M STEM RCA applicants, Sophie says, “I probably would not have thought of applying for this award myself. But now I feel like my work is being recognized, like people care about it. I would like to encourage future students to apply. It is important to believe in yourself. The ONSF is extremely helpful in guiding applicants through the process.”

As a final piece of advice, Sophie offers, "I do not believe one should focus on one thing only. This is why I have other interests and hobbies. One of my interests is music. I have recently worked on transcribing some of J.S.Bach’s organ pieces for the piano. I found that in many organ pieces, I can capture the pedal voice in the hands, and the piano has expressive means which can add to the music." 

Sophie thanks Professor Stephen DeBacker for his continued support and Professor Andrew Snowden who is currently advising her research project in the mathematical field of representation theory.

Karthik Ravi: Biology, Health, and Society (LSA, '22)

Karthik is a rising senior in LSA majoring in Biology, Health, and Society. Since 2018, he has been a member of the Koschmann lab where he studies the genetic drivers of high grade brain tumors with a particular focus on liquid biopsy and cerebrospinal fluid monitoring and sequencing.

With funding from the Chad Carr Pediatric Brain Tumor Center, Kathik is currently working to develop a formalized decision-making algorithm to assist clinicians with selecting the optimal targeted therapy for neuro-oncology patients based on drug properties, clinical and preclinical data, and patient-specific sequencing data.

After graduation, Karthik intends to pursue an MD/PhD and work as a physician scientist in the field of pediatric neuro-oncology at an academic institution.

Karthik shares that the UM STEM RCA and Goldwater Scholarship application was a rewarding process in itself. The experience offered him the opportunity for thorough introspection on both his research and educational experiences while allowing him to strengthen relationships with his mentors. 

For Karthik, the Goldwater Scholarship also offers the opportunity to become part of a global community of like minded STEM researchers while the funding from the scholarship allows him to prioritize his research endeavors without worrying about finances. 

The Goldwater Scholar community has also been an unexpected benefit. "Although my research focus is on a very niche area of brain cancer, I have already been able to meet and learn from other Goldwater Scholars from across the country who have similar research interests."

Karthik is also a James B. Angell Scholar (2021) and a Sondra Lee Spar Scholar.

Karthik would like to thank Dr. Carl Koschmann, Dr. Allen Flynn, and Dr. Arumugam Jayakumar for their support and mentorship as well as all other professors and faculty who have helped his on his research journey thus far including Dr. Inhan Lee, Dr. Bernard Marini, Dr. Andrea Franson, and Dr. Neena Marupudi, among many others.