Brackenridge Summer Research Fellow
by JOHN ERNSTHAUSEN
May 18, 2012
My Brackenridge Summer Research Fellowship enabled me to experience mathematical research. Prof Thomas A. Porsching and Dean G. Alec Stewart mentored me as a Brackenridge Fellow. My experience pursuing a Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil) degree through the University Honors College at the University of Pittsburgh provided me with a solid research experience and a foundation for graduate studies.
I wrote software that implemented a mathematical model for the computer numerically controlled (CNC) finishing of aspherical optical surfaces and I defended an undergraduate thesis.
UNDERGRADUATE HONORS THESIS:
Approximation methods in the computer numerically controlled fabrication of optical surfaces.
Prof Charles Hall, Prof Gilbert Strang, Prof Michael Golde, and Prof Kenneth Jordan were my thesis committee.
The experience was first class. Scholars across colleges within the university gathered weekly for pizza and refreshments. We discussed research issues and student scholars presented their research. Health care majors and physics majors and mathematics majors were in the same room discussing research!
The degree title – Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil) – intrigues job interviewers and opens up interesting conversations. I am grateful for the Brackenridge Summer Research Fellowship. Fond memories, wonderful mentors, and wonderful program!