Our Graduates in 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. “Before Thurston, no one would have looked at a knot, and asked what the volume of the space outside it was. 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.”

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, Berkeley, UC Davis and Cornell.

New College is proud of the many Mathematics graduates who have contributed to the field. Here's a sampling of some of our graduates:

Richard Canary is a Professor of Mathematics at University of Michigan, specializing in geometry and topology.

Damian Beil is an Associate Professor of Technology and Operations at University of Michigan.

• Mike Carlisle is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at CUNY.

Aaron Hillegrass is the founder and chief learning officer at Big Nerd Ranch, a technology company that trains developers on mobile technology and consults brands like Procter & Gamble, AT&T, Microsoft, Google, GE, Delta and Boeing. Hillegrass is also the author of iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide and Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X.

Nate Chandler is a software engineer at Big Nerd Ranch.

Meike Niederhausen is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Portland.

Michael Catalano-Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Swarthmore College.

Donald Goldberg is Dean of Mathematical Sciences at El Camino College.

Allan Jaworski is a chief architect with Lockheed Martin Mission Systems.

Amie Bowles received her M.S. in mathematics from the University of Texas, Austin, and is currently a math professor at Northwest Florida State College

William Kaufmann is a vice president with Goldman Sachs.

• William Navidi is an Associate Professor of Biostatics at USC.

Ziva Myers gradauted from New College in 2011 and is currently attending graduate school in mathematics at Bryn Mawr.

Indra Shotland graduated from New College in 2010 and is currently attending graduate school in mathematics at Michigan State University.

Cody Gunton graduated from New College in 2012 and is currently attending graduate school in mathematics at University of Arizona.

Sample of Graduate Schools Attended by NCF Students in Mathematics
• University of California, Berkeley
• Caltech
• University of Cambridge (UK)
• Columbia University
• Johns Hopkins University
• Princeton University
• Purdue University
• Stony Brook University
• Brandeis University


Since New College became independent in 2001, four students have received prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships that are awarded to undergraduates majoring in math, science and engineering.

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