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MIT senior Holden Lee wins Gates Scholarship

Lee will pursue graduate studies in mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
Holden Lee
Holden Lee
Photo courtesy of Holden Lee

MIT senior Holden Lee has been awarded a 2013 Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue graduate studies in mathematics at the University of Cambridge.

The prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarships were established in 2000 through a donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to cover the costs of graduate education at Cambridge for 90 students from around the world — 40 of them from the United States — each year. Lee will start a master’s program in pure mathematics at Cambridge this fall.

Lee’s primary interest is in number theory. After completing his master’s at Cambridge, he plans to acquire a PhD so that he can teach and conduct further research in this field.

At MIT, Lee has served as vice president of the Undergraduate Math Association, worked as a teaching assistant in a mathematics summer program for high school students, and developed mathematical curricula and online-learning resources.

Ken Ono, the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics at Emory University, praised Lee’s undergraduate research experience contributions at Emory in summer 2011, highlighting in particular a paper Lee co-authored on p-adic modular forms. 

Sug Woo Shin, an assistant professor of mathematics at MIT, and Lee’s advisor in the mathematics department, observed, “Holden grasps new mathematical notions quickly and has insatiable thirst for discovering beautiful symmetries hidden in number theory.” Shin also commended Lee’s work teaching high school students and writing lessons on math that are free and available to the public.

“Holden is greatly concerned with math education,” Shin wrote, and has a great desire “to share his knowledge.”

Lee is the second MIT student to have won a Gates Scholarship this year, joining Daniel D. Jimenez BSc ’10, MEng ’11, who will enroll in an MPhil in engineering for sustainable development at Cambridge in October.

Students interested in the Gates Scholarship should speak with Kimberly Benard in MIT Global Education and Career Development.

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