Auburn junior receives prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

Graham Gordon, an Auburn University Honors College student double-majoring in mathematics and physics, has been chosen as a 2014 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, an honor bestowed only to approximately 300 students nationwide each year.AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Graham Gordon, an Auburn University Honors College student double-majoring in mathematics and physics, has been chosen as a 2014 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, an honor bestowed only to approximately 300 students nationwide each year.

The scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award in the United States for undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, disciplines.

Gordon, of Aiken, S.C., conducts research under the guidance of Professor Peter Nylen in the College of Sciences and Mathematics’ Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He is also an undergraduate teaching assistant with Professor Joe Perez in engineering physics and he previously participated in a research group studying computational Rydberg atomic physics.

“I would like to thank Dr. Nylen for being an ideal research adviser and Dr. Paul Harris for guiding me during the application process,” Gordon said. “Anyone pursuing research in a STEM field should consider this scholarship. Applying is an enlightening experience itself.”

Gordon’s primary research involves “partial distance matrix completion with multilateration applications to wireless sensor network localization” and his publications include an article in the Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics.

“As Graham’s undergraduate research mentor, I told him I thought the most important thing was that he enjoy learning about his chosen topic,” Nylen said. “I think he does indeed love mathematical research. Graham is also blessed with analytic skills and the ability to express ideas in the written word. It has been a privilege to work with him.”

Gordon will travel to Budapest, Hungary, in June to participate in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics summer program at the Technical University of Budapest.

“Graham has already accomplished a great deal during his first three years at Auburn,” said Melissa Baumann, Auburn University assistant provost and director of the Honors College. “The Goldwater Scholarship is well-deserved recognition of his academic talents and we anticipate great future success for him as he pursues his studies in physics and mathematics.”

Paul Harris, associate director for national prestigious scholarships and a faculty member in the Department of Political Science, said, “It was a pleasure assisting Graham with his application and it is especially gratifying to see someone who has worked so hard in the classroom, in the research lab and in his after-school tutoring program with Loachapoka Middle School pay off with this national recognition.”

Contact: Charles Martin, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (martich@auburn.edu), or Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)