2019 Undergraduate Award Winners

May 28 2019

Three seniors were presented with awards at the APAM Senior Dinner on Thursday, May 2. Each winner was selected by the faculty in recognition of their excellent academic achievements.

Daniel Edelberg - Applied Mathematics Faculty Award
Daniel is from Princeton, NJ, and has also lived in Paris, New York, and Boston. He is an applied math major who is interested in the applications of mathematics and computer science to healthcare decision-making. For the past four years, Daniel has worked with Dr. Calum McCrae at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA) and the Google-American Heart Association-AstraZeneca One Brave Idea project. He presented his research on the use of machine learning for stroke risk assessment at the 7th Annual SEAS Research Symposium in 2018. During his time at Columbia, Daniel has been an EMT for CUEMS, a coach with Youth for Debate, and a CU Well Peer Leader. He has also served as a Teaching Assistant for a number of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science courses. This fall, Daniel will embark on a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at Yale University, with a focus on advances in machine learning.

Betty Hu - Applied Physics Faculty Award
Betty is originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She came to Columbia to study some sort of engineering but switched to Applied Physics after realizing her favorite part of the engineering curriculum was just the physics. She was fortunate to spend the summer after her freshman year working at Cornell in Prof. Kyle Shen’s laboratory researching unconventional superconductors. After her sophomore year, she worked at Stanford/SLAC National Laboratory, where she discovered a love for all things cosmological and computational when she worked with the BICEP/Keck collaboration to research signal demodulation algorithms to be used in experiments studying the cosmic microwave background. Starting her junior year, she began working with Prof. Zoltan Haiman in the Astronomy Department, looking for novel ways to detect supermassive black hole binaries. On campus, she has been a resident adviser for three years, worked as a teaching assistant for numerous classes in the Math Department and APAM, and taught sex education in public schools around the city through Peer Health Exchange. After graduation, Betty will attend Harvard to pursue a Ph.D. in physics.

Evan Spotte-Smith - Frances B.F. Rhodes Prize for Materials Science
Evan was born and raised in Columbia, MD. He declared his major in the Materials Science program because he believed that the classes would be easy and fun. While he was wrong about the difficulty of the program, he has thoroughly enjoyed and excelled in his classes, maintaining a GPA above 3.9. Beyond his coursework, Evan has been actively engaged in research for much of his undergraduate program. At Columbia, Evan served as the Lead Undergraduate Researcher in the Herman Group for three years, working on experiments related to nanoparticle self-assembly on campus and at Brookhaven National Laboratory. During the last year, Evan has also worked on a new project, using computational techniques to identify materials for thermal energy storage with the Hacking Materials group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Evan’s interests have taken him outside of Columbia’s campus, working with communities close to home and far away. For over two years, he taught and mentored students as part of an after-school program at the Brooklyn Latin School. Meanwhile, his interest in sustainable development brought him to Columbia University Engineers Without Borders, where he served in a variety of roles to develop agricultural processing and rural electrification projects in the Teso Sub-Region of Uganda. He will soon return to Uganda for the third time, as a Travel Mentor and Trip Lead. After he returns to the U.S., Evan will begin his doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where he will work under Prof. Kristin Persson. Evan Spotte-Smith was also the APAM Department nominee for the SEAS Wendell Prize for character, scholarship, and service.

2019 Undergraduate Winners

2019 Undergraduate Winners

(left-right) Daniel Edelberg, Betty Hu, and Evan Spotte-Smith