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The Jack Byrne Scholars Program: Scholar Activities
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Byrne Scholars can be involved in a variety of research and enrichment activities

Below are post-activity reports from our scholars, listed by academic term, followed by recent scholar news and highlights.

AY 2022 – 2023

AY 2021 - 2022

AY 2020 - 2021

AY 2019 - 2020

AY 2018 - 2019

Recent Highlights and News about the Byrne Scholars

image of Jared Duker Lichtman AB, AM ’18 from a Numberphile YouTube video

Jared Duker Lichtman explains his recent proof for Numberphile

July 07, 2022

In a wonderful and popular new Numberphile video, Jared Duker Lichtman AB, AM ’18 expounds and further discusses his recent proof of the Erdős primitive set conjecture. Lichtman talks in some depth about primes and primitive sets, describing his fascination with uncovering hidden mathematical beauty and structure within an ostensibly very chaotic class of sets. When he heard about this particular Erdős conjecture during his undergraduate years at Dartmouth, Lichtman states that he “absolutely fell in love with the problem, because it’s saying that these primes are very special in a precise way... I just found this such a beautiful statement.” In a second, follow-up Numberphile video, Lichtman provides additional context for primitive sets in general and mentions some examples of related open problems. He dedicates his proof of the Erdős primitive set conjecture to his undergraduate advisor, Professor Carl Pomerance, with whom he has written several joint papers.

photo of Jared Duker Lichtman AB, AM ’18 at University of Oxford Mathematical Institute

Former Byrne Scholar Jared Duker Lichtman proves decades-old Erdős conjecture

June 08, 2022

In February Jared Duker Lichtman AB, AM ’18, currently a Clarendon Scholar at the University of Oxford Mathematical Institute, released A proof of the Erdős primitive set conjecture, resolving a longstanding conjecture which states that the Erdős sum of the set of prime numbers is the largest of any set of primitive numbers (sets in which no number divides any other). Lichtman began working on the primitive set conjecture with his advisor, Professor Carl Pomerance, while an undergraduate at Dartmouth. Their work led to several joint papers, including The Erdős conjecture for primitive sets and A generalization of primitive sets and a conjecture of Erdős. Quanta Magazine describes his resolution of the conjecture in some detail. You may read Lichtman’s own explanation of his fascination with this topic and watch a short video in an article by the Oxford Mathematical Institute. Noted number theorist András Sárközy, who co-authored many papers with Paul Erdös, said proof of the conjecture “seemed beyond reach”; other number theorists were of similar opinion. Please join us in congratulating our alumnus on this major achievement!

photo of Elizabeth Cascio and Maria Castro ’23

Contributing to economic immigration research with math and social sciences

May 07, 2022

Byrne Scholar Maria Castro ’23, right, took on research last winter seeking to explore the ways in which the 1965 Immigration Act changed the scope of legal immigration into the US. Working with Economics professor Elizabeth Cascio, she compared countries that were impacted far more by the Act to countries largely unaffected by the new legislation. They found that after the Act, the share of unauthorized immigration grew in countries whose restrictions had expanded. “We tried to control for factors like civil wars, natural disasters, and economic disparities as we ran regressions to explore the relationship between unauthorized immigration and countries most affected by the Hart-Celler Act,” says Maria. “My research with Professor Cascio sought to contribute to economic immigration research, which remains largely unexplored.” Maria is an Economics major and LALACS minor interested in exploring research related to labor and public economics.

photo of Jacob Fyda ’22

Studying mammalian energy metabolism with Stockholm research lab

March 11, 2022

Byrne Scholar Jacob Fyda ’22 spent two terms last year doing remote research at Stockholm’s Wenner-Gren Institute for Molecular Biosciences, investigating cellular energy metabolisms related to the genetics of thermogenesis of eutherian mammals. Working with PhD student Michael Gaudry in Dr. Martin Jastroch’s Integrative Physiology of Mammalian Energy Metabolism research group, Jacob expanded on previous work he had done in-person at the institute in Summer 2019. “Our findings helped provide additional insight into the evolution of brown adipose tissue and associated genes, with the eventual goal of applying this functional and molecular knowledge to enhance treatment of metabolic diseases, including obesity and diabetes,” says Jacob. “I am incredibly grateful for the generosity of Jack and Dorothy Byrne which allowed me to develop this relationship with the lab.” Jacob’s work in Dr. Jastroch’s group has led to his co-authorship on two papers, the second of which was published in PNAS in January 2022.

photo of Dartmouth Formula Racing competing in the Autocross Event at 2018 Formula Hybrid

Independent research with Dartmouth Formula Racing at Thayer

January 02, 2022

With support from the generous Byrne gift, Byrne Scholar and Thayer School of Engineering student Ben Martin ’22 pursued an independent research project this past summer designing a testing setup to experimentally determine the braking characteristics of the Dartmouth Formula Racing team’s current generation of brake system. DFR designs and builds hybrid race cars to compete in the Formula Hybrid annual competition in New Hampshire; Dartmouth’s team has been competing in automotive engineering design competitions since 1995, and has competed in Formula Hybrid since its inauguration in 2006. “I planned out experiments to determine kinetic and static coefficients of friction between the pads and rotors at various temperatures, thermal response of the brake system at different levels of energy dissipation, and long term wear characteristics,” says Ben, who is Brakes Team Lead and Manufacturing Team Lead at DFR. DFR photo by Kathryn Lapierre.

photo of Joe Gyorda ’22 with Dartmouth Triathlon Team members

Modeling athletic performance using mathematical data science

December 06, 2021

Byrne Scholar and Mathematical Data Science major Joe Gyorda ’22, second from left, interned this summer at HALE Sports, which seeks to optimize the health and performance of athletes through analyzing somatic and biometric data. “The first team was building a computer vision model in which athletes could receive real-time feedback on various exercises (e.g., squat, pushup) to correct their form. Machine learning and body pose estimation models were implemented to analyze body position/angles and identify correct/incorrect form,” says Joe, himself a triathlete. In his second team Joe worked with longitudinal somatic survey data collected from college athletes, with the goal being to implement clustering algorithms to track athlete variables over time and using predictive models to determine which variables (e.g., energy, mood) are impacted by changes in another (e.g., sleep). “I am very grateful for the generosity of the Byrne Fund for supporting me and my work!”

photo of Archita Harathi ’22

Byrne Scholar Archita Harathi ’22 inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

November 02, 2021

Congratulations to Byrne Scholar Archita Harathi ’22, one of 22 students recently inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in this year’s fall ceremony at Dartmouth. Archita, who is majoring in Math and Economics and minoring in Computer Science, has been supported by Byrne funds in several endeavors: a summer ’21 investment banking internship at Goldman Sachs in the structured finance group; a virtual winter ’21 management consulting internship focusing on technology, media, and telecom industries at Altman Solon; and, during her freshman summer, research abroad at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge. Archita also received the Town Scientific Prize for her achievement in mathematics in 2020. When not busy with academics, Archita finds time to study Indian classical music and competed in this year’s Dartmouth Idol with the help and guidance of Walt Cunningham at the Hop.

photo of Anne Bailey ’22

Byrne Scholar develops software for ESL tutoring startup

October 09, 2021

Supported by the Byrne gift, Byrne Scholar Anne Bailey ’22 interned at language-learning startup Cambly, whose web and mobile apps facilitate learning English as a second language by connecting students with tutors around the world. During her time at Cambly, Anne developed a system using the AWS Lambda service and learned much about developing scalable software along the way — something not necessarily easy to learn in the classroom. “Overall, this internship taught me a lot about full-stack software engineering, and I had a great time,” Anne says. “As a computer science major and linguistics minor, working as a software engineer intern at a language-learning company was a great intersection of my interests.”

photo of Maria Roodnitsky ’22

Byrne Scholar Winter 2021 software engineering internship

March 31, 2021

“The 2020-2021 school year (junior year for the Class of 2022) wasn’t exactly how anybody could have predicted when my class matriculated,” says Byrne Scholar Maria Roodnitsky ’22. However, thanks to the generous Byrne gift, Maria had the opportunity to spend an off term as a software engineering intern working on improving accessibility features in an iOS application with the mobile development team at Grove Collaborative. “I never could have imagined three years ago that I would be applying my love for data science and mathematics in the technology sector,” says Maria. “Having used funding to do both hands-on research with a renowned statistician and to go work in the industry itself, I can safely say that as a result of the Jack Byrne Scholars Program, I am one step closer to knowing what I want to do post-graduation. I look forward to seeing what else is in store!”

Byrne Scholars’ summer ’19 research leads to published paper

February 12, 2021

The work of Byrne Scholars Jacob Fyda ’22 and Connor Spencer ’22 was published in an article in the Journal of Experimental Biology, joint with Martin Jastroch and Michael Gaudry of the Department of Molecular Biosciences at the Wenner-Gren Institute. In summer 2019, Jacob and Connor had conducted research in biomathematics at the institute, studying mitochondria and cellular energy metabolisms related to the genetics of thermogenesis of eutherian mammals. Former Math Department member Bjoern Muetzel, now Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Eckerd College, facilitated the exchange, which was supported by the generous Byrne gift.

Modeling the evolutionary impact of disturbances in SCN oscillation

November 12, 2020

During Winter 2020, Connor Spencer ’22 worked with the Dartmouth Pauls Lab developing mathematical models to study disturbances in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a group of oscillating neurons responsible for coordinating circadian rhythms. Connor (left), here in 2019 with Dartmouth Triathlon teammates Maya Khanna ’22 and Colin Goodbred ’21, is a Byrne Scholar with an interest in the intersection of computer science and applied mathematics. He hopes to more fully explore this question and help establish some idea as to what could be happening in the SCN from a game theoretic perspective.

Modeling the spread of wildfires at INRA Avignon

February 05, 2020

During Fall term Byrne Scholar Hugo Nam ’21 spent four months at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in Avignon, France. During his internship at INRA’s Biostatistics and Spatial Processes center, Hugo studied the application of Hawkes processes in developing statistical models related to the spread of wildfires in various European regions and wrote code to model such phenomena.

Byrne Scholar Summer 2019 technology internships

January 08, 2020

Supported by the Byrne gift, Byrne Scholars Aadil Islam ’21 and Raymond Chen ’22 participated in summer 2019 internships. Aadil interned in a JHU APL data science camp working on models to detect fake news, and Raymond developed quality control code as a cloud applications intern at an American multinational corporation. “It was very rewarding to be able to apply what I learned in both Computer Science and Mathematics courses at Dartmouth,” says Raymond.

Research in molecular and evolutionary biology

December 12, 2019

Byrne Scholar Jacob Fyda ’22 spent eight weeks this summer in the Integrative Physiology of Mammalian Energy Metabolism research group at the Wenner-Gren Institute. “I had the incredible opportunity to experience a foreign country and actively participate in a productive, high-impact lab.” Jacob’s work involved the analysis and annotation of the genomes of several hundred representative animal species, as well as phylogenetic analysis, selection pressure analysis, and the construction of evolutionary trees.

Byrne Scholar research project in biomathematics

November 07, 2019

Byrne Scholar Connor Spencer ’22, second from left, conducted research on the genetics of thermogenesis of eutherian mammals at the Wenner-Gren Institute this summer. Connor is especially interested in the intersection of computer science and applied mathematics. “My research this summer at the Wenner-Gren Institute at Stockholm University offered me with a truly life-changing experience,” he says. “I am really glad to have taken part in this research and worked with some of the best thinkers in this field.”

Geometry activities at MoMath’s NYC Math Festival

October 23, 2019

Instructor Bjoern Muetzel and Byrne Scholar Hugo Nam ’21 participated in the fourth annual NYC Math Festival where they led geometry activities with children. Using solids built from Geometiles® and mirrors attached to the inside faces they created a new type of kaleidoscope with which to view New York City postcards at the festival.

At MathFest 2019 in Cincinnati

October 18, 2019

Byrne Scholar Kayla Hamann ’22 (standing, fifth from left) recently attended MAA MathFest, where she attended talks on topics ranging from recreational mathematics to math in social justice. She also attended a mentoring workshop for women where she learned from other undergrads, graduate students, professors, and professionals. “I came away from MAA MathFest with a wealth of resources,” she says. Kayla is an aspiring math major and on the executive board of the student chapter of the AWM.

At the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge

September 20, 2019

Thanks to the generous Byrne gift, Byrne Scholar Archita Harathi ’22 recently traveled to the U.K. to conduct research under the guidance of Marie Curie Fellow Irena Vankova at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge. “My experience working at the British Antarctic Survey was full of learning and exploring the potential of mathematics in a variety of applications. I am forever grateful for experience and the memories I made along with it!”

Biomathematics research project in Stockholm

August 21, 2019

Byrne Scholars Connor Spencer ’22 and Jacob Fyda ’22 conducted an undergraduate research project in biomathematics at the Wenner-Gren Institute in Stockholm, Sweden this summer. Martin Jastroch and Michael Gaudry, the project’s supervisors, study mitochondria and cellular energy metabolisms. Instructor Bjoern Muetzel facilitated this exchange. From left: Martin Jastroch, Bjoern Muetzel, Connor Spencer, and Michael Gaudry.

At the National Math Festival

July 17, 2019

Instructor Bjoern Muetzel (right), Byrne Scholar Hugo Hyung Ju Nam ’21, and Math major Ty Fierce Metteba ’20 recently traveled to the National Math Festival in Washington, D.C. where they led geometry activities with children. Muetzel’s research interests include low dimensional geometry and topology, systolic geometry, and harmonic forms on surfaces.

Summer research internships in Germany

October 04, 2018

Byrne scholars Anuraag Bukkuri, Megan Green, and Kyle Bensink did summer research internships at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, working in the genetic diversity, bioinformatics, and genome research groups. From left: Kyle Bensink, Anuraag Bukkuri, Bjoern Muetzel, Ben Peter, and Kay Pruefer.