Undergraduate Awards Spring 2016

Michael Kraut & Jackson Vanover

Congratulations and kudos to Michael Kraut and Jackson Vanover, recipients of Mathematics Awards in 2016! Both received $1,000 awards in recognition of their accomplishments in the Mathematics major—Pure Mathematics concentration. We are honored to recognize their hard work and to be able to present them with an award.

Michael Kraut and Jackson Vanover were selected by Mathematics faculty as recipients of this year's J.W.T. Youngs Memorial Undergraduate Award in Mathematics. The family and friends of Professor Youngs, a former professor at UCSC, established the award after he tragically passed away in 1970. Professor Youngs was a member of the Mathematics Department and a Fellow of Crown College. The endowment was established to honor his memory by supporting two annual prizes, one for an outstanding student of mathematics enrolled in Cowell College, and one for an outstanding student of mathematics enrolled anywhere on the Santa Cruz campus. The Youngs award is administered by the Mathematics Department.

We wish them all success in their future endeavors!

Short Biographies from Jackson & Michael 

Jackson Vanover

           Jackson Vanover is wrapping up his last quarter at UCSC as a Mathematics major and trying to make the most of the end of his college career. He originally came to the Santa Cruz mountains inspired by the breathtaking location; there is no campus more beautiful than this one! Like most who settled into a mathematics track, he was inspired by a particularly spectacular calculus teacher in high school who showed him the inherent beauty of recognizing patterns and solving puzzles.

           In keeping with the spirit imparted on him by a strong mathematics education, he will be embarking on a path towards teaching following graduation. In the fall, he will be assuming the full-time position of Assistant Director and Tutor at Sage Educators in Marin County. With any spare-time not spent at work, he'll be composing, recording, and performing his own original music in the bay area. He'd like to express a huge thank-you to the Mathematics Department at UCSC for the experiences he's had here and for the honor of the J.W.T. Youngs Memorial Undergraduate Award.


Michael Kraut

           My name is Michael Kraut and I'm a 4th year pure math major. I think I've always been interested in logical and quantitative ideas, but I really discovered my love for math in middle school. I had amazing teachers and I was always the class show-off who had his hand up first. I stayed in advanced math classes through high school and finished AP Calculus, although it wasn't until I came to UCSC that I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in mathematics. Probably the most influential factor in my decision was the Honor's Calculus course which I had the privilege of taking with Professor Richard Mitchell.

           Since then I have taken many upper division math classes and even a few graduate courses. I have worked as a tutor with Learning Support Services and this year I tutored a few upper and lower division courses including Honor's Calculus. This summer I will be participating in an REU program at SUNY Potsdam in New York to study Algebraic Graph Theory, and next year I will be studying abroad in Sweden. I plan to take some advanced courses there and begin applying for graduate school. I'm not entirely sure yet whether I want to stay in academia or even which subject I want to study, although I think my experiences over the next year will help me determine what I want to do.