# MEET OUR STUDENTS

## Joanne Beckford

Class of 2022

Joanne entered Williams College intending to be a studio art major, but accidentally enrolled in Calculus. This is where she discovered her love for mathematics. She is constantly looking for patterns and has done some research on dominance in the factorial base. Joanne intends to get her PhD and continue doing research in algebraic combinatorics.

## Avik Chakravarty

Class of 2022

Avik earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering at Wayne State University. He came to enjoy mathematics when he learned about dislocation energetics while working on his thesis. His initial interest formalized as he took several proof-based courses and then decided to leave his position as an engineer to pursue mathematics full time. Within the bridge program, Avik aims to grow as a mathematician and to prepare himself for a PhD in math.

## Oualid Merzouga

Class of 2021

Oualid studied computer science at the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis in the south of France. Upon graduating, he moved to California to work as a computer vision and machine learning scientist. Oualid has always been fond of theoretical mathematics foundations in his work. His drive for mathematics eventually got the best of him and lead him to the bridge program. One of his current goals is to obtain a PhD in pure mathematics.

## Abiola Oyebo

Class of 2020

Abiola has always known that she wanted to be a mathematician. She was a standout student at Towson University, where she earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics. She also did research on special curves that are prominently used in computer graphics and related fields. Abiola remains committed to her goal of becoming a professor and hopes that the bridge program can take her one important step closer to achieving this goal.

## George Santellano

Class of 2020

George double majored in applied mathematics and cognitive science as an undergraduate at UC San Diego; he later realized he was a mathematician at heart while working as an analyst in Silicon Valley after college. He decided to return to school full-time, earning a masters degree in math at San Francisco State University and doing research on combinatorics. George looks forward to developing as a mathematician at Penn.

## Juan LanFranco

Class of 2019

Juan discovered his love for mathematics while he was an undergraduate at Queens College studying quantitative finance. In those days, he was juggling schoolwork and a busy schedule as a wedding DJ. Juan’s love for algebra and topology eventually led him to pursue mathematics full time and in turn to the bridge program. Juan is currently a PhD student in mathematics at Notre Dame.

## Steve Millington

Class of 2019

Steve studied actuarial mathematics and economics-statistics as an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation, he worked in the financial industry for several years. However, Steve was so enthralled with mathematics that he gave up his job and enrolled in classes at CUNY and Princeton before joining the bridge program at Penn. He is particularly interested in mathematical logic.

## Neda Saleem

Class of 2019

Neda was an exceptional student at Cal State Northridge, where she majored in applied mathematics. She was involved in undergraduate research and participated in the Preparing Undergraduate through Mentoring towards PhD (PUMP) summer program. Neda is looking forward to earning a PhD in applied mathematics and on doing research in mathematical biology.

**Department of Mathematics**

David Rittenhouse Laboratory

209 South 33rd Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6395

Robin Toney

rtoney@math.upenn.edu

(215) 898-8178 & 898-8627

Fax: (215) 573-4063