Lawford Hatcher, Nathan Jacobson Prize in Mathematics

Major: Mathematics in the Accelerated Master’s program

Minor: Physics

Hometown: Friendsville, Tennessee

Favorite Experience at UA: By far, my favorite and most rewarding experience on campus has been being a member and executive board member of the Alabama International Relations Club (AIRC). Through this fantastic organization, I have had the great privilege of traveling around the country and internationally to represent the school at Model United Nations conferences. I have also gotten to give back to the Alabama community through AIRC‚Äôs service-based organizations that teach Model UN to high school students in low-income areas and run a high school Model UN conference annually. In addition to the experiences I had off-campus with the club, I also learned a great deal about subjects outside my major‚ like international politics and climate change‚ and made great friends I never would have met otherwise. I would highly recommend that any incoming students consider joining this organization, and I will forever be grateful to AIRC for the wonderful experiences it has afforded me.

Favorite Class: My favorite course is actually one that I am currently taking: differential geometry (MATH 560). As a visual learner and mathematics major, I have always loved anything geometric, so this course is right up my alley. In particular, differential geometry combines tools from multivariable calculus and linear algebra to study smooth geometric objects. On top of being visually appealing and mentally stimulating, the subject provides a strong mathematical foundation for Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which seeks to describe the intrinsic geometry of spacetime itself. Though the course is available only every other spring, I would recommend it strongly to anyone interested in mathematics or physics.

Future Plans: My main career goal is to become a mathematics professor and split my time between research and teaching. I am currently in the middle of the PhD admissions process and cannot wait to figure out where I will be living for the next four to five years!