Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Math & Computer Science

2012 Department Awards

Zoe Pham, Yvette Niyomugaba and Stephen Brown receive awards for their outstanding performance in mathematics and computer science.

Van (Zoe) Pham is the recipient of the 2012 Atkin Memorial Award. The funds for this award were donated by John Thatcher and Genevieve Atkin in memory of their sons, John Mason and Richard Thatcher Atkin. The scholarship is awarded annually to the outstanding junior-level mathematics major, as determined by the departmental faculty. 

Comments from Dr. Marr: 
In the three short years that Zoe has been on campus, I feel as though I’ve spent a lot of time with her. We’ve been to multiple mathematics meetings together where she has presented her work including a trip to my home state of Kentucky this past summer. In addition, I’ve had Zoe in three classes including an independent study course in which we worked on problem solving strategies for the challenging national Putnam mathematics exam. In fact, this independent study inspired me to offer a regular Fall course “Putnam Power Hour” that helps prep students for the Putnam exam. This Fall 3 SU students took that class (and the exam). Although, Zoe was too busy this semester to join us, I hope she will join us again next fall. 

Zoe is a dedicated, determined mathematics student that always seeks out opportunities to go above and beyond what is asked of her in the classroom. I know Zoe has plans of attending graduate school in the future as we have had many discussions about all the preparation she’s doing to ensure her success in getting accepted to the school of her choice. 

Yvette Niyomugaba is the recipient of the Ralph Whitmore Award in Mathematics. The Whitmore award is named after a former chair of the department and is given annually to the outstanding senior-level mathematics major as determined by the departmental faculty. 

 

Comments from Dr. Marr: 

Although Yvette is only a junior, we felt she had excelled enough in senior level classes to present the award to her this year. In fact, in the 6 math courses Yvette has taken at Southwestern, she has received A+s in all but one where she received simply an A. Dr. Therese Shelton   remarks: “Yvette is a true scholar.  Her thirst for learning melds with her motivation, determination, and intelligence.  She always wants to know WHY a result is true as well as HOW to obtain the result.  These are marks of an excellent mathematician in the liberal arts.  She has been a leader in class discussions in her quiet way. Yvette is one of the very few who has made almost a perfect score on multiple of Dr. Shelton’s exams. And, if you know anything about Dr. Shelton’s grading practices you?ll know how truly amazing that is. 


Stephen Brown is the recipient of the Grogan Lord Award in Computer Science. The Grogan Lord Award is given annually to the outstanding Computer Science student, as determined by the departmental faculty. 

Comments from Dr. Buchele: 
Stephen is an actively engaged student learner.  He wants to know not only the “what” but also the “how” and “why”, and his learning is not complete until he has the full picture.  He also makes connections between what he already knows and what he’s learning, and between the different computer science classes he’s taking.  Stephen received a King Creativity grant and is working with another student on implementing “Fridge Magnet Poetry” using the motion detector input device used with XBoxes.  Users of that system will be able to “move” the words around by motioning with their hands to create their poetry. As you can see, Stephen is just the kind of liberal arts student that Southwestern seeks to cultivate.  He is a joy to have in class and to interact with outside of classes as well