Gordon R. Olson Scholarship Recipients 2018


Garret-Mantzjpg.jpg  Garret Mantz


A lot of people don't like math. That's okay - math isn't for everyone, but you can't deny that math is essential for certain occupations. It also makes some tasks easier. Let's say you are building a house. You have one wall frame built, and you are going to build another frame perpendicular to it. You want the two walls to be perfectly square and form a ninety degree angle, but how do you do that? You use the 3-4-5 rule, which uses the Pythagorean Theorem! First, set up your chalk line on the ground (which will mark where the wall is going to be). Then, measure 3 feet along the wall frame from the corner (which was made by the wall frame and the perpendicular chalk line) and make a mark with your pencil. Then, measure four feet along the chalk line from the corner and make a mark. Now, measure the distance between these two points. The distance should be five feet. If it isn't, then readjust the angle of the chalk line, remeasure your four feet along the chalk line, and then measure between the two points again. Repeat until the distance between your two points is five feet. Now, keep in mind that you would use multiples of 3-4-5, such as 12-16-20, as walls can be pretty long. After you get five feet (or your multiple of five) between the two points, you can snap your chalk line. You are now ready to put up your wall with a confidence that it will be perfectly square.


Alexander-Tylor.jpg Alexander Taylor


I believe that math can be used in a functional way throughout our society.  Math is the foundation of our daily lives all the way from the most mundane tasks like balancing a checkbook to budgeting all the way to the largest scale global issues.  This future that we live in is based on innovation and skill development so I believe math is going to be the basis for any improvements that need to be made to our society from overhauling social programs, innovative new technology to assist in the rebuilding of our infrastructure through the engineering disciplines to soldiers in warfare.  Personally, I am focusing on the computer science facet of math because I believe that the math and statistical information needed to contribute and solve some of these issues and which is basic to all engineering disciplines can and will contribute significantly to all sorts of fields including but obviously not limited to biological sciences, medicine, psychology, economics and commerce.  Other areas are also affected will be more to the research and innovation arena, things like advanced devices of all sorts, bio-technology, digital image technology, Nano-technology.  I'm sure there are numerous other areas.  The mathematics I'd like to be involved in will focus more on programming existing software and inventing new programs to help determine the connectivity between issues, patterns to determine the best route to improve situations.  New technologies will be the key using detailed mathematical models to make research possible by using sophisticated logistics methods, network analysis, statistical modeling and many other mathematical tools.  Of course there is also the fun side of math and the computer programming that first got me interested in this major, my skills and interest in video games!  Math is used mainly in the system design portion of game design. So, as previously mentioned you can see that mathematics surrounds all of us in our daily lives in one way or the other, in big and small ways.


Michael-Heck.jpg Michael Heck


Everything comes down to math. Without math, our society would not be able to function. The reason I fell in love with math is because there is always an answer. You can use math to prove anything you want. Without math, you wouldn't know what a speed limit is, how much space you need to stop a moving car, how many servings you need to eat, and so many more real-life examples. Its hard to focus on how math can be used to solve a real-world problem, because the truth is, without math, there would be so many problems in the world. How would anyone know what money is, let alone how to count it, how to invest it, and how to maintain an investment. Without math, our society would not be where it is today. Constructing infrastructure uses math, maintaining a business requires math, computers require math, anything you do requires math. A lot of people don’t even realize the amount of math they use each and every day. A lot of students drive to school, so they need to know what time to leave, how far the school is from their home, and how fast to drive. This may all be basic math, but it is used every day and without it, students would be later than they already are!