Mikaela Meyer

Hometown: West Lafayette, Indiana
Majors: Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science

Purdue University student Alan Min has been named a 2017 Goldwater Scholar.  The highly-competitive scholarship recognizes undergraduates who are already conducting research in their fields and show great promise for the future. Only four students are nominated each year for the award by any one university, and all of Purdue’s nominees were honored in 2017.

Congress established the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation in 1986. It awards up to $7,500 toward tuition, fees and board to sophomores and juniors seeking research careers in science, mathematics or engineering. 

Min, of West Lafayette, Indiana, is studying mathematics, statistics and computer science in the College of Science. The junior aspires to enhance the world’s quantitative understanding of molecular scale interactions. Specifically, Min hopes to fight disease using math and computer science techniques to model proteins involved in genetic modifications.

“Science has never been solely for advancing knowledge,” he explained. “I want to bring to reality the profound effects that scientific research can have on society.”

Purdue faculty members say Min is tackling that goal with academic preparedness and research aptitude rivaling most first-year Ph.D. students.

“Alan’s notable enthusiasm for the work is exceptional because he goes well over the domain suggested to him,” observes his mentor, Doraiswami Ramkrishna, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering. 

Min performs mathematical modeling with Ramkrishna and expands his skills into the experimental biophysics of chemical engineering professor Chongli Yuan’s lab.

“I believe with the proper training and guidance, Alan is going to outgrow us and become a leading star in his research field,” Yuan added. 

Min is a member of Purdue Science Ambassadors and has participated in the Purdue Statistics Living Learning Community, an NSF-funded year-long program for sophomores focused on data analysis, statistics and methods of probability theory. He has also served as a mathematics teaching assistant for a course he never took himself; instead he learned the material independently to the point where he could teach it.



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