Aria Beaupre ’21 Named a Goldwater Scholar

Aria Beaupre ’21, a Harvey Mudd College mathematics major known for making math joyful, accessible and inspiring on campus and beyond, is the recipient of a Barry Goldwater Scholarship, the most prestigious national award for undergraduate STEM researchers. The award for undergraduate U.S. sophomores and juniors covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 per year. This year, 396 scholarships were awarded to college students across the United States.

Beaupre has taken advantage of the College’s many research opportunities since her first year on campus. During her first year, she worked with Rachel Levy, former HMC professor of mathematics, on mathematics education research focused on integrating mathematical modeling into elementary school mathematics curriculum. Beaupre worked with Michael Orrison, professor of mathematics, on voting theory research—the mathematics behind elections. They worked on creating new voting procedures and analyzing their properties and relationships to other voting procedures. During summer 2019, Beaupre participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) with David Milan, associate professor of mathematics at the University of Texas at Tyler. They studied semigroups and worked on a general characterization for the inverse hull of a Markov subshift.

Last year, the Department of Mathematics selected Beaupre to receive the Alvin White Prize, which is given to those who have contributed to the humanistic side of the mathematics community, both on campus and beyond. The citation notes more of Beaupre’s accomplishments:

“… Aria completed a book on math modeling for principals. She and Athena Li ’21 also wrote an article for the MAA newsletter describing their experience attending a national math conference and encouraging undergraduates to attend. In 2018, she was hired to build community in the new HMC REU. Her work was especially important for students attending from other schools who did not already have friends on campus. She also has been communicative about her love of mathematics through several efforts, including the great fractal photos on display in the Borrelli Lounge …”

Beaupre is a math tutor in the College’s Academic Excellence Program and a grader and tutor for Abstract Algebra.

“This scholarship was achieved with the help of so many people,” says Beaupre, who plans to attend graduate school for theoretical mathematics. Her goal is to become a mathematics professor. “I am very grateful to my research advisors and the professors here at Mudd, for giving me countless opportunities to learn and grow as a mathematician. I am also grateful to all the teachers in the Eatonville School District who ignited my love for academics.”

From an estimated pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, 1,343 natural science, engineering and mathematics students were nominated by 461 academic institutions to compete for the 2020 Goldwater scholarships. Of students who reported, 191 of the Scholars are men, 203 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a PhD as their highest degree objective. Fifty Scholars are mathematics and computer science majors, 287 are majoring in the natural sciences, and 59 are majoring in engineering. Many of the Scholars have published their research in leading journals and have presented their work at professional society conferences.

The Goldwater Scholarships are the result of a partnership with the Department of Defense National Defense Education Programs (NDEP) and the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. With the 2020 awards, this brings the number of scholarships awarded since 1989 by the Goldwater Foundation to 9047 and a scholarship total to over $71 million.

The scholarship program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. All Harvey Mudd sophomores and juniors are eligible to compete for the Goldwater Scholarship, which is awarded on the basis of academic merit. The HMC Department Chairs Committee nominates up to four students annually.