Written by Anne Pappalardo
Willimantic, Conn. - Richard Magner '15, a mathematics major from Beacon Falls, CT, recently received an Honorable Mention from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The Goldwater Scholarship program was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The program recognizes undergraduate students who demonstrate the potential to make significant research contributions in their future careers.
Julia DeLapp, Eastern's coordinator for national scholarships and fellowships and program coordinator for the Center for Early Childhood Education (CECE), said, "As far as I know, this is the first time an Eastern student has been recognized by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. Richard has been conducting research under the mentorship of Professor Mizan Khan for two years and is also Eastern's first Undergraduate Research Fellow."
"By the time he graduates, he will have completed eight graduate-level courses at the University of Connecticut, served as a teaching assistant for an upper-division math course, and will have had at least one publication and multiple presentations related to his own research," added DeLapp.
Magner's professors have recognized his unique capacities and have provided him with challenging experiences to ensure that he continues to develop while at Eastern. In addition to earning the respect of members of the Department of Mathematics, he has also impressed Computer Science faculty by writing computer programs on his own to aid his research.
In order to qualify to be considered by the Goldwater Scholarship program, students must be nominated by their institutions. Each institution can only nominate up to four students and each student must show actual potential for promising careers in research.
Eastern mathematics Professors Mizan Khan, Peter Johnson and Christian Yankov submitted letters of recommendation for Magner. His career goals include pursuing a Ph.D. in Mathematics, conducting research in number theory and teaching at the university level.
"Ricky is arguably the strongest mathematics major we have had in the past 20 years. He has an excellent mind and has shown that he is capable of doing original work in mathematics. Most importantly, his level of motivation and study ethic is extraordinary," said Khan.
Magner presented his research at two research conferences during the summer of 2013. The first, "Combinatorial and Additive Number Theory 2013" at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY); the second, the 2013 Young Mathematicians Conference at Ohio State University (OSU), which was funded by the National Science Foundation. Only one-third of the abstracts submitted were accepted at the OSU event.
The research has culiminated in two manuscripts. "The Combinatorial Geometric Problems Involving Modular Hyperbola," authored by M. Khan, R. Magner, S. Senger and A. Winterhof, will appear in INTEGERS (www.integers-ejcnt.edu) this year. INTEGERS is a refereed electronic journal devoted to research in the area of combinatorial number theory. "An Application of Modular Hyperbolas to Quadratic Residues," authored by Khan and Magner, will also be published in American Math Monthly (www.maa.org) this year.