Published: Oct. 9, 2023 By

Ari GeislerThe Department of Applied Mathematics recently announced their 2023 recipient of the prestigious Rudy Horne Memorial Fellowship – Ari Geisler. 

Ari is a first year Ph.D. student in Applied Mathematics, who graduated from Bowdoin College with a B.A. in Mathematics and Physics. Ari explained his motivation to study applied mathematics in a graduate setting: “I started my undergraduate career primarily interested in experimental biophysics. However, my sophomore year, I undertook a computational research project (as a result of COVID restrictions) and fell in love with the applied math methods. I remain interested in building mathematical models for problems in biophysics, especially protein-protein interaction models.”

The Rudy Horne Memorial Fellowship, as stated by the Applied Math Department, was founded with the goal that fellowship recipients “would, through their presence in the department, contribute to the diversity of the department of Applied Mathematics and of the  campus, and more generally, of the community of mathematicians.” 

Ari is specifically interested in growing representation in the historically non-diverse community of applied mathematics and STEM as a whole: “There is a severe lack of visible representation in mathematics for a number of marginalized identities. Until last year, I had never met an out queer professional in STEM, making it difficult to envision how my queer identity could realistically coexist with a career in math … The Rudy Horne Fellowship is a warm reminder that I belong in the program and my perspective is valued.”

While a difficult problem to solve, fellowships like the Rudy Horne Fellowship push for diversity and bring in passionate students who are dedicated to the best interests of the field. Bringing queer researchers in for lectures, along with organizing a plethora of other diversity-focused events, is something Ari prioritized at Bowdoin, and plans to continue while at APPM. Ari explained his goals for the department in this regard: “While at CU Boulder, I plan to address the heteronormativity and lack of queer representation in math by working with organizations such as Out in STEM and Spectra to bring queer researchers to campus for lectures … I am very honored to have received the Rudy Horne Fellowship. Starting a PhD is a daunting endeavor, especially for those with identities historically underrepresented in academia.”

Ari is uniquely suited for the Rudy Horne Fellowship and to help with issues regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), having served as a Student Director of the Bowdoin Sexuality, Women, and Gender Center. Furthermore, while at Bowdoin, Ari chartered a chapter of Out in STEM (oSTEM), which, as described by Ari, “is a national organization that supports queer students in STEM personally, academically, and professionally by helping students connect with faculty mentors, prepare for grad school, find scholarships, etc.” 

The Department congratulates Ari on this momentous accomplishment and is excited to welcome him to the APPM community!