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04-20-2009

More Goldwater Scholars at Clarkson University

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/goldwater2009.jpg]

Two Clarkson University Honors students have been named Goldwater Scholars by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation and another has received an honorable mention.

Junior Eleanor L. Davis, an applied mathematics & statistics and history double major from Lake Katrine, N.Y., and junior Kelsie F. Timbie, a chemical engineering major from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., have both been awarded scholarships. Junior Andrew D. Davis, a mathematics major from Underhill, Vt., received an honorable mention.goldwater2009

Including Timbie and Davis, 21 Clarkson University students have received this highly coveted award since the scholarships were established in 1986. This is the 10th consecutive year that Honors Program students have received Goldwaters.

A graduate of Kingston High School, Eleanor Davis has been a presidential scholar for all three of her semesters at Clarkson. "Nora has a wonderful combination of abilities and talents," says Honors Program Director David M. Craig. "As importantly, she has the work ethic to enable her to take full advantage of her gifts. She is a talented leader who inspires the confidence of those with whom she works. Her myriad abilities are so evident that her peers often turn to her for leadership, but I think the root of her success as a leader is her deep interest in others."

Davis is spending this semester abroad in Hungary, participating in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program. Her research looks at networks, which can be used to model systems across many parts of life, from social interaction to electrical systems. An important aspect of networks is their ability to synchronize, which occurs when each node, or member of a network, acts in unison with all of the others. "Synchronizability is often a desired aspect of networks," says Davis. "Improving it can have applications ranging from better understanding intercellular communication to increasing the stability of power networks." Davis will be working with Mathematics and Computer Science Prof. Takashi Nishikawa to analyze how directional connections within networks affect the ease of synchronization.

A graduate of Allen D. Nease High School, Kelsie Timbie has been a presidential scholar for all five of her semesters at Clarkson. "Kelsie is highly intelligent, intensely motivated, genuinely concerned about others, and sensibly career minded," says Craig. "She possesses communication skills that complement and enhance her technical abilities. When I hear her present technical material, I am always struck by the lively, clear, and logical manner in which she presents complex ideas."

Timbie’s research project is focused on developing a biosensor that can detect malignant changes in a sample of cervical cells. "I came all the way up here because Clarkson seemed to epitomize cooperative, realistic learning," says Timbie. "I plan to obtain a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, and would like to find a career in medical device design. I used to volunteer with a hippotherapy program, and that experience was my primary motivation for a career in biomedical engineering." Hippotherapy uses horses to provide physical therapy to young children with cerebral palsy or other motor impairments. Timbie is working with Biology Prof. Craig D. Woodworth and Chemical Engineering Prof. Ian I. Suni.

A graduate of Vermont Academy of Science And Technology, Andrew Davis has been a presidential scholar for all five of his semesters at Clarkson. "Andrew possesses high intelligence as well as high energy and spirits," says Craig. "This combination together with his work ethic gives him unusual potential. He is infectiously curious and has developed a passion for research. His enjoyment of learning will almost certainly be a self-sustaining fuel for his entire career."

"My research focuses on developing a new model that will identify the underlying dynamics that enable a global epidemic," says Davis. "Ideally, such a model facilitates the development of improved strategies for reducing the frequency or severity of pandemics. My proposed research attempts to simulate recurrent pandemics. We hypothesize that with appropriately chosen parameters for our simulation, the system will show self-organized criticality (SOC), in which the system will tend toward some critical point. Identifying SOC in the context of a disease model may help explain the large scale epidemics which occur on a recurring basis with low, but observable, probability." Davis is working on his research with Mathematics & Computer Science Prof. Joseph D. Skufca.

Only 30 of this year’s 278 scholarships were awarded to mathematics majors; only 51 went to engineers. The scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,097 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.

Clarkson’s Honors Program is an intensive four-year curriculum for exceptionally talented students. The University admits only 30 new students to the Honors Program each year.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established in 1986. The scholarship program honoring Senator Barry M. Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.

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: Three Clarkson University Honors students have been recognized by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. Left to right: Mathematics and Computer Science Prof. Takashi Nishikawa, Goldwater Honorable Mentionee Andrew D. Davis, Mathematics & Computer Science Prof. Joseph D. Skufca, Goldwater Scholar Kelsie F. Timbie and Biology Prof. Craig D. Woodworth. Not present for photo is Goldwater Scholar Eleanor L. Davis, who is spending this semester abroad in Hungary.

[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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