Our Graduates in Applied Mathematics
William P. Thurston (1946-2012) was a world-renowned mathematician and member of New College’s charter class, who revolutionized the study of topology in two and three dimensions, showing interplay between analysis, topology and geometry. For that, he won the Fields Medal at just 37 years of age. The medal is mathematics’ highest honor often equated to the Nobel Prize.“Bill Thurston so transformed our knowledge of low dimensional topology and geometry that it is now impossible to imagine the field before him,” said New College President and mathematician Donal O’Shea.
Graduating from New College in 1967, Thurston wrote his senior thesis on “A Constructive Foundation for Topology.” He earned a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and taught at MIT, Princeton, UC-Berkeley, UC-Davis and Cornell.
“Before Thurston, no one would have looked at a knot, and asked what the volume of the space outside it was,” O’Shea said. “No one would have looked at the universe, and asked how to carve it up into pieces each with a natural geometry — in fact, no one would have known what exactly a natural geometry is. At New College, we are proud to have provided the space for the fecundity of his imagination to ripen.”
New College is proud of the many Applied Mathematics graduates who have contributed to the field. Here's a sampling of some of our graduates:
• Preston Bebas, an Economics/Applied Mathematics AOC at New College, is an analyst at Raymond James Financial in Tampa, Florida.
• Anne Farrell is a math teacher at the Upper School of Washington Latin Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.
• Mark Kot is an associate professor of applied mathematics at University of Washington.
• Jonathan Statz worked as a research assistant at the United States Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory. He combined his Applied Mathematics AOC with Biology.
• Princeton University