Three students win Goldwater Scholarships

by Kristine Jiwoo Ahn | 4/28/17 2:05am

Kevin Kang ’18, Chenguang Li ’18 and Jared Lichtman ’18 have been named 2017 Goldwater Scholars. The Goldwater Scholarship, established by Congress in 1986 in honor of former Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-A.Z., is a prestigious undergraduate scholarship given in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics.

Kang, Li and Lichtman are among 240 sophomores and juniors selected from 1,286 candidates nominated by campus representatives from 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide. The scholarship provides funding up to $7,500 per year for each student to cover the cost of tuition and fees, books and room and board.

In addition to the 240 scholars, another 307 nominees received honorable mentions.

The Board of Trustees of the Goldwater Foundation considers a nominee’s commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to his or her field through letters of recommendation, one’s academic transcript, essays and research experience.

Kang is a biomedical engineering sciences major from Erie, Pennsylvania. He is interested in the application of engineering principles to solve medical problems and develop new medical devices and Kang has done research in several science, technology, engineering and math departments, working in computational neuroscience, astrophysics and cancer immunotherapy at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. In the future, Kang hopes to concentrate his research in the area of tissue engineering, a field in which researchers seek ways to grow new human tissue and organs for transplant.

Kang credited the College for helping him forge close connections with professors and researchers.

“Dartmouth has helped develop my passions by offering me great opportunities to pursue research in diverse STEM fields and work closely with world leaders in research,” Kang said. “The amazing accessibility of Dartmouth professors has helped me acquire a broad knowledge base in biomedical engineering.”

Kang has been accepted to the Geisel School of Medicine through its Biomedical Engineering Early Assurance Program and intends to enroll there after graduation.

Li is a physics major from Richland, Washington, interested in the intersection of physics and neuroscience.

“I think approaches to large systems as seen in fields like statistical physics have a lot of potential applications in neurological systems where the sheer amount of information being processed can be enormous,” she said.

Li has been doing research at Geisel professor of molecular and systems biology Allen Gulledge’s lab at DHMC. Li simulated single neurons to see how changing their properties or varying input patterns affects the way they integrate information.

After college, Li plans to pursue a Ph.D. and conduct research in neuroscience. She wants to continue to look at ways to model cells and networks and learn more about the biology behind developing models.

Lichtman is from North Bethesda, Maryland and is majoring in mathematics and minoring in physics. His research focuses on analytic number theory, a field that uses calculus to answer questions about whole numbers. Lichtman has worked with mathematics professor emeritus Carl Pomerance on primality testing. Under the mentorship of Pomerance, Lichtman explored how mathematicians determine whether a large number is a prime number.

Echoing Kang’s sentiment, Lichtman acknowledged the opportunities and support Dartmouth provides.

“Pomerance has been an excellent mentor to me, bringing me into the world of research mathematics,” Lichtman said. “I believe that my winning a Goldwater Scholarship is a reflection of the great mentorship I have received, as well as the exceptional opportunities available here at Dartmouth.”

This summer, Lichtman will work on number theory in a research program at Williams College. After graduation, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics and eventually become a professor.