2016 Goldwater Award Winner

May 20, 2016
Emily Vecchia, 2016 Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention, Mathematics

Congratulations to Emily Vecchia, math major, for earning a Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention!

There were 1,150 applicants for the Goldwater Scholarship from 415 colleges and universities nationwide. Each institution nominates mathematics, science, or engineering students to move on to the national competition, and the scholars are selected from the nominees. There are 252 scholars for the 2016 year, and a group of students were named Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention.

Emily is a junior mathematics major on the applied track. She participates in faculty-led research with her advisor, Dr. Rawdon, and other students. The research is classifying open knots. Open knots are tangles that have two endpoints, and they are found in certain physical systems such as proteins and DNA. Mathematics focuses on closed knots with no endpoints, so there is no formal mathematical definition for an open knot. Since open knots appear in such significant physical structures, their research is to better define and understand open knotting.