Student Spotlight – Alicia Altemose ’14
Major/minor: Mathematics, Chemistry
Expected date of graduation: Spring 2014
Hometown: Pen Argyl, Pa.
Activities: Vice president of the United Student Government; treasurer of Colleges Against Cancer; a past treasurer of Campus Community Connection (C3); and president of Gamma Sigma Sigma national service sorority, Epsilon Xi chapter. She is also involved in several other clubs, societies and community service activities.
Alicia Altemose fully intended to participate in a SOAR project in summer 2012, except for one minor issue: She missed the enrollment deadline. Undeterred, Alicia returned in summer 2013 to conduct a project titled “Locked and Unlocked Chains in 3-Space” – a topic she called her “perfect project.”
For those out there who are not mathematically inclined, we’ll spare most of the details, but essentially Alicia’s project dealt with various polygonal chains in three dimensions. (A polygonal chain is a connected sequence of links joined at vertices, also known as a path graph in mathematics.)
Incidentally, Alicia stumbled upon this subject matter in her junior-year origami class. ”I became infatuated with the topic and wanted to learn more,” reasons the United Student Government vice president.
For the first couple of weeks, Kevin Hartshorn, associate professor of mathematics, and Altemose researched published results on various classes of chains and compiled a list of open questions. The duo then concentrated on short chains of four and five links, focusing particularly on open, unit θ-chains, and spent their remaining weeks delving further into the topic.
Their final results are referenced in a 17-page paper that the duo plans to submit for publication in November. In the coming year, Alicia hopes to continue her research, rolling it into an honors project.
Ultimately, Alicia wants to attend a graduate program to continue her studies in physical chemistry, particularly quantum mechanics. She would like to earn a doctorate in physical chemistry and become a professor and/or conduct research in the field of physical chemistry.
Until then, she will continune to immerse herself in the campus community, though it might be difficult for her to squeeze in more. She is active in the American Chemical Society and the Math Society. She has played Intramural soccer for three years, acting as a captain her first year. In C3 and Gamma Sigma Sigma, Alicia has jumped into several community service activities, including bake sales, blood drives, Boo at the Zoo, Holiday Hope Chests, the Jello Dive, serving dinner at a local shelter Victory House, and much more.
Alicia has also received the Comenius Scholarship, the Alumni Fellows Scholarship, and the Emerging Leaders Scholarship, and has been accepted into Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society.
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