Undergraduate Awards

Mathematics Awards Spring 2018

Congratulations Alyssa Soderberg and Timofey Peshin, recipients of one of our Mathematics Awards in 2018! 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.

They 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!

Youngs Awards:

Alyssa Soderberg

Hi, my name is Alyssa Soderberg and I am about to graduate with my undergraduate degree in Pure img_7049.jpgMathematics with a minor in Theater Arts, Dance. I fell in love with mathematics during my first year here at UCSC, when I was introduced to calculus. I have always been an artist, and a learning disability student, so I never imagined that I would find myself so passionate about this field of study. As I continued to take more classes, I fell deeply for the challenge, beauty, and delicate intricacy of theory.

I am also a choreographer, performer, visual artist, dance teacher, and graphic designer. I hope to integrate and research pure mathematics through choreography in the future. I may go on to graduate studies, but I hope to pursue my career as a performer and choreographer first. After I graduate, I am going to Paris with nine of my dance peers to attend a performance conference and choreography exchange at the Centre National de la Danse.

I feel honored to receive this award, and want to give special thanks to Professor Richard Mitchell, Junecue Suh, Bob Hingtgen, and my fellow womxn in the department who have supported me through my undergrad education.

Timofey Peshin

I’m a Pure Mathematics and Computer Science major at UCSC. When I had just arrived at UCSC, I knew I would pursue the Computer Science major, but I also wanted to double-major in either Computer Engineering or Pure Mathematics. The decision became trivial once I took my first undergraduate math courses—Group Theory with Prof. Junecue Suh and Real Analysis with Prof. Francois Monard—in the winter img-1225.jpgquarter of my freshman year. During that quarter, I spent most of my free time either going through problems in Dummit & Foote or reading through Strichartz’s The Way of Analysis. I regularly use the ways of thinking and problem-solving that I discovered during those courses. Although I had always enjoyed math, these courses and professors created in me a new appreciation for it. Since then, I have only had great experiences with my math classes. At the end of every quarter, I could come up with a long list of problems that I could understand and solve that I could not have approached before. After graduation, I would like to go to a graduate program inmathematics.



Palais Award:

Stephen M. Palais Memorial Undergraduate Research Award created by the family in memory of former student, Stephen Palais, this award is administered by the MCD Biology and Mathematics Departments and recognizes meritorious undergraduate research.


Derrik Mather

My name is Derek Mather and I am a Pure Mathematics major at UCSC. I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, so going to UCSC was a very natural choice. Not to mention that my grandfather, Richard Mather was a founding professor at UCSC when it was just a few trailers. With the exception of taking a few Cabrillo classes in high school, I was homeschooled all of K-12. Most of my time as a homeschool student was spent playing music and tennis. I first learned about Mathematics from Khan Academy.That sparked my interest in Mathematics and Science. After graduating from high school, I spent a few years at Cabrillo and then applied to UCSC as an Astrophysics major. I discovered that it was the Mathematical aspects of Astrophysics that most interested me, so I switched majors upon transferring to UCSC. I really enjoyed my classes and professors at UCSC. I especially appreciated the camaraderie of my classmates. My brother went to UC Berkeley, and I heard about what a competitive environment it is there in the undergraduate program. There was none of that at UCSC and the small class sizes made it easy to get to know my professors and interact with classmates. I am starting the Master's program in the fall, and my goal is to continue on for a PhD.