Carnegie Mellon, BS in Computer Science, May 2008
Cornell University, working towards a PhD (expected ~2013)
Cornell University, PhD student in applied mathematics
Achievements: Phi Beta Kappa, Andrew Carnegie Scholar, Phi Kappa Phi (honor society), graduation with University Honors (Carnegie
Contributions: Currently beginning research in credit risk modeling with “frailty”, hopefully being able to price credit derivatives more
successfully than prior Wall Street attempts
There are very few experiences that I can pinpoint as turning points in my life, and PGSS is one of them. Coming from a mediocre school district with few advanced course options, PGSS exposed me to intensity, rigor, and higher expectations than I could have imagined. For the first time, I was surrounded by people who shared my passion for learning, mathematics, and science; before this program, I would have never imagined an atmosphere where students scrambled to work on homework that wasn’t assigned a point value and didn’t count for school credit. From PGSS, I didn’t just gain knowledge and friends–I gained an understanding of the opportunities available to me and that I had the ability to push myself much farther than my high school had provided. After this summer experience, I set my sights high and applied for colleges that I thought would challenge me, eventually ending up at Carnegie Mellon. I cannot say that without PGSS I wouldn’t have been able to obtain admission or be successful at a place like Carnegie Mellon (my alma mater). But this program exposed me to academic rigor and challenges that were previously unimaginable. A program like this has the ability to tap into the academic property of young people in the state of Pennsylvania and continue to advance science and maintain acompetitive edge in this state and country. It would be devastating to see a successful program shut down when its effects can be seen so quickly when outstanding high school seniors enter universities (many of which in my PGSS year were in Pennsylvania) and contribute positively to college learning environments. This program forever changed my life, and I hope that it will be around for years to change the lives of others.