Undergraduate Academic Affairs

May 16, 2016

UW sophomore selected for Goldwater Scholarship

Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Portrait of Austin Stromme.

Austin Stromme

Formed to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, the Goldwater Scholarship awards $7,500 per year, for up to two years of study, to students studying the STEM fields. The foundation seeks to “foster and encourage outstanding students to explore careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.” Competition for this year’s scholars was fierce – 1,150 students were nominated and 252 students were selected. Of the winners, 30 are studying math, including Stromme.

A double major in math and computer science, Stromme is currently involved with two research projects. The first, led by Professor Jim Morrow, aims to understand the geometry of boundary graphs using discrete harmonic cohomology. The second, led by graduate student Matthew Junge, analyzes the fog model and related random models on graphs.

“I am very grateful to be a Goldwater scholar and have received recognition for my hard work over the past few years,” explains Stromme. “In the next two years this scholarship will allow me to free up time I would have otherwise spent working and invest it into my mathematics education – in particular I hope to delve deeper into algebraic topology. In the long term, I will be significantly better prepared for graduate school and a career as a mathematician.”

Stromme is scheduled to graduate in spring 2018. His long-term goals include earning a Ph.D. in pure mathematics and becoming a university professor. Already eager to teach, Stromme asked to share some advice with students applying for the Goldwater Scholarship. “Make sure you start building relationships with your professors early. Having three people who know you well enough to say great, detailed things about you is critical. Also seek out opportunities to present your research when you can – this will help corroborate your claim that you’re a nascent researcher.”

Stromme worked with the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards to develop a competitive application for the Goldwater Scholarship. Learn about current scholarships and resources available to UW students here.