Third-year College of Creative Studies physics major Ilan Rosen received the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in recognition of his research on condensed matter, while second-year CCS math major Mark Rychnovsky received an honorable mention for the award for his studies in mathematics.
The scholarship provides as much as $7,500 per year to help alleviate the economic burden of sophomores and juniors studying science, mathematics or engineering. Of the 1,166 science, engineering and mathematics undergraduate sophomore and juniors from the United States who were nominated, Rosen was one of only 283 scholars chosen to be awarded the scholarship.
Congress authorized the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation in 1986 in honor of Senator Barry Goldwater, who served as in the Army Air Forces during World War II and later as a U.S. Senator. Goldwater also famously ran and lost against Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 presidential election.
Thanking those who have mentored and helped him throughout his undergraduate career, Rosen said he received the honor with the guidance of others.
“I am immensely grateful to have had the unwavering support of two individuals in particular — my CCS mentor, Dr. Tengiz Bibilashvili, and my research adviser, Dr. Ania Jayich,” Rosen said. “Any merit that is in receiving the Goldwater Award is to their credit.”
Physics lecturer Tengiz Bibilashvili said Rosen’s passion and comprehension of physics made him stand out as worthy of the award.
“His presentations could be distinguished by the extreme depths of his understanding of material,” Bibilashvili said. “He was always selecting the hardest topics.”
The professor also said Rosen possesses an ability to articulate concepts in such a way that they are easy to understand, pointing to Rosen’s in-class presentations as an example of this.
“He was also explaining it fantastically to his peers, so it was really interesting and engaging presentations,” Bibilashvili said.
Dean of the College of Creative Studies Bruce Tiffney said the award demonstrated the dedication of these CCS students in working to come to the forefront of their academic fields.
“It is recognition of the quality of UCSB undergraduates and their commitment to the process of becoming colleagues in the generation of new knowledge,” Tiffney said. “We are delighted in the success of these students and look forward to their future accomplishments.”
The Goldwater scholarship program was originally introduced to address the increasing shortage of qualified scientists, engineers and mathematicians nationally.
A version of this story appeared on page 3 of Wednesday, May 7, 2014′s print edition of the Daily Nexus.