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Student Awards, Prizes, and Competitions
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Mathematics Department awards and competitions

Byrne Prize

Established in 2019, the John J. Byrne Jr. Prize in Mathematics is a $35,000 fellowship that recognizes the top Dartmouth graduating mathematics major interested in continuing mathematics at the graduate level. It is expected to cover tuition for the first year of graduate studies in mathematics or a related field. The prize was established in 2019 and is awarded annually.

2020 Byrne Prize recipient: Jacob Swenberg ’21

photo of Jacob Swenberg ’21

View previous Byrne Prize recipients.

Thayer Prize Exam

The Thayer Mathematical Prizes are financed by the income from a fund, originally in the form of a $1000 bond, the gift of General Sylvanus Thayer of the class of 1807, of Braintree, Massachusetts. The gift was received on July 4, 1869. According to the deed of gift, in terms slightly modified by General Thayer on October 11, 1871, the principal was “to constitute a perpetual prize fund for superior proficiency in the higher branches of Mathematics.”

The Mathematics Department Prize fund for this exam is up to $1000, to be distributed among the exam winners. The exam consists of Mathematics Olympiad style problems. Originality and creativity are heavily weighed.

2021 Thayer Prize winners: First Place, Hoang Nguyen ’24; Second Place, Dylan Fridman ’24.

composite photo of 2021 Thayer Prize Exam winners, from left: Hoang Nguyen ’24 and Dylan Fridman’24

View previous Thayer Prize recipients.

Senior Thesis Awards

A student who satisfies the requirements of the College for admission to the Honors Program and is interested in doing independent work is strongly encouraged to participate in the departmental Honors Program. Students who successfully complete the Honors Program will have their degrees conferred with ‘Honors’ or ‘High Honors’ in mathematics; high honors is awarded only if the student submits a written thesis. The department awards the Hazleton Mirkil Prize prize for Best Senior Thesis Presentation. The prize is awarded at the Department’s annual barbecue, generally held in May. Due to COVID-19 restrictions we were unable to host in-person senior theses presentations in 2020.

2019 Best Senior Thesis Presentation: Katherine Royce ’19 (advisor: Feng Fu)
Modeling Spillover Effect in Emerging Infectious Diseases with Intermediate Hosts

photo of Katherine Royce ’19

View previous honors theses and prize recipients.

Undergraduate Poster Session

All undergraduates who have done research projects in pure or applied mathematics are invited to present a poster at the department’s annual Undergraduate Poster Session. The Randolph and Christine Burnley Bucklin Prize is awarded to winning posters in applied mathematics, and the William Slesnick Prize is awarded to winning posters in pure mathematics. Prizes are awarded at the Department’s annual barbecue, generally held in May. Due to COVID-19 restrictions we were unable to host an in-person poster session in 2020.

Louisa Gao ’22 and Matt Sawicki ’20 won First Place in Applied Mathematics for their poster For Whom the Bell Tolls: Modeling Wind Chimes with the Classical Wave Equation, which won First Place in Applied Mathematics.

photo of Louisa Gao ’22 and Matthew Sawicki ’20 with their 2019 applied mathematics poster

Ethan Goldman ’22 won First Place in Pure Mathematics for his poster Continued Fractions and abc-Triples, which won First Place in Pure Mathematics.

photo of Ethan Goldman ’22 with his 2019 pure mathematics poster

All 2019 Poster Session prizes

First Place, Applied Mathematics
For Whom the Bell Tolls: Modeling Wind Chimes with the Classical Wave Equation
Louisa Gao ’22, Matthew Sawicki ’20
Second Place, Applied Mathematics
Modeling Spillovers of Emerging Infectious Diseases with Intermediate Hosts
Katherine Royce
Third Place, Applied Mathematics
Varying Measles Vaccination Rates in a Theoretical Prison Population
Addison Green, Erika Hernandez, Kenna Vansteyn
First Place, Pure Mathematics
Continued Fractions and abc-Triples
Ethan Goldman
Second Place, Pure Mathematics
$\alpha\beta\gamma$ Conjecture for Gaussian Integers
Jared Hodes, Liam Morris, Tanish Raghavan, May Fahrenthold, Dylan Burke

View galleries of posters and previous prize recipients.

Bogart Teaching Award

The Kenneth P. Bogart Teaching Award, established in 2010, is awarded annually to a fifth-year or rising fourth-year graduate student for dedication to and excellence in advancing the educational mission of the department.

2020 Bogart Teaching Award recipient: Xingru Chen

photo of Xingru Chen

Previous Bogart Teaching Award recipents:

  • 2019: Juan S. Auli PhD ’20
  • 2018: Ben Breen PhD ’20
  • 2017: David Freund PhD ’18
  • 2011: Patricia Cahn PhD ’12
  • 2010: Paige Rinker PhD ’11

Dartmouth College awards

Francis L. Town Scientific Prize for Achievement in Mathematics

Each department of scientific study at Dartmouth awards the Town Prize to one meritorious and deserving student at the end of the sophomore year. This prize was established by the bequest of Francis L. Town, a member of the class of 1856 from Lancaster, New Hampshire.

2020 Town Prize recipient: Archita Harathi ’22

photo of Archita Harathi ’22

Previous Town Prize recipients for achievement in mathematics:

  • 2018: Will Kaufman ’20
  • 2017: Shikhin Sethi ’19
  • 2016: Jared Duker Lichtman AB, AM ’18
  • 2015: James R. Drain ’17
  • 2014: Kyutae Han ’16
  • 2013: Steven K. Nugent ’15
  • 2012: Hanh Nguyen ’14
  • 2011: David G. Hildebrand ’20
  • 2010: Jie Zhong ’12
  • 2009: Aria Anavi ’11
  • 2008: Ian Hayes ’10
  • 2007: Thomas Kern ’09
  • 2005: Kiran Parkhe ’07

Hannah Croasdale Award

The Guarini School awards the Hannah Croasdale Award for academic excellence annually to the graduating PhD recipient who best exemplifies the qualities of a scholar. This award recognizes personal qualities of intellectual curiosity, dedication, and commitment to the pursuit of new knowledge and to teaching, as well as a sense of social responsibility to the community of scholars.

Daryl DeFord PhD ’18 received the Hannah Croasdale Award in 2018

photo of Daryl DeFord PhD ’18

Previous Hannah Croasdale Award recipients in our department:

  • 2009: Geoff Goehle PhD ’09
  • 2005: Nathan Ryan PhD ’05
  • 2001: Michael Orrison PhD ’01
  • 1999: Albin Jones PhD ’99

Graduate Teaching Award

The Guarini School awards the Graduate Teaching Award to recognize dedication, commitment, creativity, innovation, and overall excellence in teaching.

Melanie Dennis PhD ’19 received the Graduate Teaching Award in 2019

photo of Melanie Dennis PhD ’19

Previous Graduate Teaching Award recipents in our department:

  • 2017: Daryl DeFord PhD ’18
  • 2013: Katherine Kinnaird PhD ’14
  • 2012: Patricia Cahn PhD ’12
  • 2011: Paige Rinker PhD ’11
  • 2008: Allison Henrich PhD ’08
  • 2007: Rachel Esselstein PhD ’07
  • 2006: Dominic Klyve PhD ’07
  • 2005: Lee Stemkoski PhD ’06
  • 2004: Nathan Ryan PhD ’05
  • 2003: Barry Balof PhD ’03
  • 2002: Elizabeth Stanhope PhD ’02

Graduate Community Award (discontinued in 2021)

The Graduate Community Award was designed to recognize outstanding community service undertaken by graduate students on behalf of the entire Dartmouth graduate community. Recipients contributed in diverse ways such as participating in student governance, serving on campus-wide committees and in the development and promotion of programs that enhance the academic and social options of the entire community.

Community Award recipents in our department:

  • 2011: Katherine Kinnaird PhD ’14
  • 2008: Allison Henrich PhD ’08

Gazzaniga Family Science Award

  • 2012: Heesung Yang ’12

National competitions

Putnam Exam

Each year the annual Putnam Competition is held on the first Saturday in December. Thousands of students from all across the United States participate in the Putnam Exam every year, as it is a wonderful way to express problem solving ability while having fun doing mathematics. Although this competition takes place at an awkward time of year for the Dartmouth calendar, Dartmouth Putnam teams have had some impressive placements, including ranking 20th nationwide in 2006 and 26th nationwide in 2011 and in 2017.

See the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition website for more information.