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05-08-2010

Clarkson University Senior Andrew Davis of Underhill, Vt., Receives Levinus Clarkson Award

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/levinus2010.jpg]

Graduating senior Andrew D. Davis of Underhill, Vt., was awarded the Levinus Clarkson Award during Clarkson University’s 117th commencement ceremony today. He was selected for the $1,000 award by a vote of the full University faculty based on his scholarship and promise of outstanding achievement.Clarkson University Senior Andrew Davis of Underhill, Vt., Receives Levinus Clarkson Award

The Levinus Clarkson Award was established by University founders Elizabeth and Frederica Clarkson in memory of their brother, Levinus, and was first awarded in 1909. This award and the Frederica Clarkson Award are traditionally given to the two top students in the graduating class.

Davis received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics, with a minor in computational science, and was a member of the Honors Program. He wrote his undergraduate thesis on "The Spread of Infectious Diseases in Populations of Moving Individuals."

He has worked on two research projects over his four years as an undergraduate, including research at California Institute of Technology and North Carolina State University. His research is concentrated in biomathematics, focusing on plant growth and the spread of diseases.

In the summer of 2009, Davis was as an intern in the Caltech biology department with a computational specialist, a professor, and a Ph. D. student to derive an algorithm to better explain plant growth. He presented his research at California State University at the SoCal BSI Symposium on Bioinformatics.

In 2008 and 2009, Davis worked with two Clarkson University professors to develop a Monte Carlo simulation on recurring pandemics, like influenza and measles. Davis studied disease models and focused on areas at high risk of outbreak, which can be used to predict disease frequency, as well as severity.

Davis also participated in the COMAP mathematical modeling contest in 2008. His study aimed to calculate the volume of water in the polar ice caps, and model ocean water level rises in Florida. He participated again in 2009, focusing on changes in traffic circle diameters.

Davis was the president of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and a member of the Association of Women in Mathematics, and Pi Mu Epsilon, the mathematical honor society. During this time, Davis also helped to start Clarkson’s first Clarkson University Student Association-recognized math club. The club organized the second annual Saint Lawrence Valley Mathematics Symposium.

Davis served as the team captain, boathouse manager, and president of the Clarkson crew team, as well as vice president, chapter editor, historian, and pledge educator for the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was also a teacher’s assistant for differential equations coursework.

After graduation, Davis plans to study in the master’s program in computation for design and optimization at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University President Tony Collins (left) presents the Levinus Clarkson Award to Andrew D. Davis.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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