2019 Robin's Award Winners
Graduate Student Teacher of the Year
Brandon Ashley is a Mathematical Sciences PhD student within the College of Science at Utah State University. Currently, Brandon is working with Professor Ian Anderson in studying various aspects of the geometry of differential equations, a subject essential to many areas of science including computer vision, string theory, and control optimization. Prior to coming to Utah State, he received a BS in Applied and Pure Mathematics from the University of Central Arkansas where he then returned to complete a MS in Applied Mathematics with a focus in mathematical biology and nonlinear differential equations. It was during this time that he began teaching university-level mathematics courses and gained an interest in developing professionally as an educator. Since coming to Utah, Brandon has had the privilege of serving as both an instructor and recitation leader for a number of courses and regularly shares his experiences and reflects on teaching effectiveness with his peers via the Mathematics and Statistics Department’s weekly Teaching Assistant Professional Development seminars for which he also serves as a committee member. After graduating, Brandon hopes to pursue a career in academia. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time outdoors, socializing with friends, and has recently taken up yoga
Peak Prize: Undergraduate Researcher of the Year
Bryce Frederickson is a mathematics major in his junior year. As an Undergraduate Research Fellow and honors student, Bryce began research in mathematics his freshman year under the mentorship of Dr. David Brown. Though he didn’t work in a fully structured project, Bryce enjoyed exploring challenging combinatorial problems related to Dr. Brown’s research and presented some results on Boolean algebra in 2014. After returning from a church mission in Mexico in 2017, he continued to research with Dr. Brown. He proved several theorems related to tournament entropy, which he presented at two conferences. These have now been submitted for publication.
During the summer of 2018, Bryce participated in the REU program at Boise State University, where his group proved some interesting results concerning the combinatorial notion of set splitting. He presented this work at three poster sessions, including at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore, MD. This project resulted in another paper that will soon be submitted to an academic journal. Bryce currently works as a teaching assistant for the Complex Variables class and as the honors math tutor. After he graduates in the spring of 2020, he will hopefully enter a PhD program where he can study algebraic combinatorics.
Scholar of the Year
A native of upstate New York, David Maughan is, nevertheless, a place-where-the-sagebrush-grows-loving Aggie, who excels in academics, research, presenting, teaching and outreach.
“Where else, but Utah State, would I have all these opportunities?” asks the Honors student, who earned honorable mention from the prestigious Goldwater Foundation in 2018.
The physics and mathematics major, who explores the ideas of physicists Einstein and Noether, was among just 40 undergraduates worldwide selected to participate in the 2018 Jürgen Ehlers Spring School at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam Germany. While exploring general relativity and cosmological symmetries and conservation laws, Maughan has tackled computer software to perform formidable analytical calculations in differential geometry – calculations that took physicists of a century ago months or years to accomplish by hand.
Beyond heady hypotheses, Maughan readily lends a hand to community science outreach efforts, sharing his love of learning with children and teens.
“USU’s faculty is dedicated to the education and professional advancement of their students,” he says. “I’m proud to part of the Aggie tradition.”