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I was thrown into deep water, butlearned howto swim.

” Andrew Turner ’14

EVEN AS A SEVENTH GRADER, ANDREWTURNER ’14 knew that Harvey Mudd College was the right place for him. In high school, he excelled in mathematics and physics and augmented his knowledge by taking classes at the University of Missouri near his hometown of Ashland. His father, a scientist and musician, taught Turner music theory to augment piano lessons, band and choir activities. When it came time to select his academic focus, Turner

went straight for the rigor and became a physics and mathemat- ics double major, managing a schedule overload (more than 18 units) every semester. During his first-year summer, he focused on physics, intern-

My balance tip: Combine work and play. It’s good for time management and sanity.


ing at Los Alamos National Laboratories where he worked on modeling the fluid and thermodynamics of laser chemical vapor deposition. “I learned a ton of numerical analysis and partial differential equa- tions with the help of a great team. I was thrown into deep water, but I learned how to swim,” he says. Tis past summer, as the recipient of a Fletcher Jones Fellowship through the

Har vey Mudd College FALL/WINTER 2012

Claremont Center for the Mathematical Sciences, he focused on math, exploring, with Pomona College Professor Stephan Garcia, the new subject of supercharacter theory, a powerful algebraic mechanism which his team used to study certain exponential sums that arise in number theory. Turner is co- author of the paper “Supercharacters, exponential sums, and the uncertainty principle,” which has been submitted for publica- tion, and he is working with Garcia and his team on another. Next summer, Turner is debating a math or physics intern-

ship versus a teaching assistant position at the Harvard Summer Science Program. He attended the camp in 2009 and studied the position of a near-earth asteroid, writing code to determine the asteroid’s orbital elements. Despite his hectic academic schedule, Turner still plays pia-

no and sings (he’s a member of the Claremont Chamber Choir). Regarding science and music, he’s still deciding which he’ll pursue as a profession and which as a hobby. For now, Turner said, obtaining a Ph.D. in mathematics or physics sounds like a good plan, but only after spending some time traveling, perhaps in Norway, Finland or New Zealand.

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