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Kressel Scholars Selected

Five Undergraduate Students to Pursue Advanced Research as Part of Fifth-Year Program

Five Yeshiva University students will perform advanced undergraduate-level research this year as part of the Henry Kressel Research Scholarship. The scholarship—established in 2008 by Dr. Henry Kressel, chairman of the YU Board of Trustees, managing director of Warburg Pincus LLC and a Yeshiva College graduate—offers students the unique opportunity to craft a year-long intensive research project under the direct supervision of YU faculty.
This year’s scholarship recipients are: Gilad Barach and Uri Carl of Teaneck, NJ; Kira Joel of Riverdale, NY; Davida Kollmar of Edison, NJ; and Yael Roberts of Potomac, MD. Each of the students will receive a stipend of $7,500 for the year, along with appropriate research-support expenses. Following their research tenure, Kressel Scholars will be encouraged to share their work in professional and peer circles to stimulate a larger intellectual discussion on their chosen topic. The students’ research will focus on a variety of subjects. Barach will investigate network theory under the guidance of Dr. Gabriel Cwilich, associate professor of physics, co-chair of the department of psychology and director of the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program. “I hope to modify and improve the mathematical models which scientists use to represent real-life networks and how they fail,” said Barach, who is majoring in physics and mathematics at Yeshiva College.

Carl will be advised by Dr. Andreas Hamel, associate professor of mathematics, as he studies eigenvalues, adjoints and conjugates of set-valued sublinear functions. “This research project combines a plethora of mathematical concepts, which make the work demanding but at the same time quite rewarding,” said Carl, a mathematics major at Yeshiva College.

Joel and her mentor, Dr. Lea Santos, assistant professor of physics, will research the movement of microscopic particles. “One of the aspects of physics that I enjoy the most is that there are certain laws that can be used to predict how various objects will behave under specific conditions,” said Joel, a physics major at Stern College for Women. “Having focused mainly on the world of classical physics in my college courses, I greatly look forward to the opportunity to study the world of quantum mechanics.”
Santos will also serve as mentor to Kollmar, a physics major at Stern College, who will explore the use of entropy to detect quantum phase transitions. “The study of quantum phase transitions will open windows onto some fundamental aspects of physics about which little is known and much research is being conducted,” said Kollmar. “It excites me to be doing research that can explain the theory behind current experimental results.” Roberts will work with Dr. Linda Shires, co-chair of the department of English, researching four pairs of artist-writers from the 19thand 20th centuries: Charles Dodgson and Alice Liddell, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddal, Georgia O’Keefe and Alfred Stieglitz, and Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. “As a conceptual artist, scholar, reader and writer, I believe intellectuality is central to my creative work,” said Roberts, an English literature and studio art major at Stern College. “I see this project as a way to create correspondences between the left and right brain, the public and private, the self and the other. I hope my project will bring the emotional back into our unemotional daily lives of technology by creating scientifically based art that speaks to the heart and brain.”