"I had a great experience as an undergraduate at Florida State…. It followed naturally to continue my studies in a program that I had found to be academically stimulating and personally rewarding."
Gabriel Bouch was a junior when he discovered a counter-example to a conjecture made by a well-known mathematician in the field of Knot Theory. Unraveling the conjecture was quite a feat for an undergraduate.
But for Gabriel this was only the first in a series of impressive achievements.
By his senior year he had received a Barry Goldwater Scholarship, awarded by a federally endowed agency established to honor the late senator. Gabriel was then invited to join the Pi Mu Epsilon mathematics honor society, whose membership is restricted to students ranked highly in their class.
By graduation, the tally for this double major (in math and physics) was steadily increasing: he'd completed the Honors Program and graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA.
Although Gabriel's academic life invokes the image of a student stationed at his computer, books, or lab 24/7, he's kept a fine balance, spending three years as a juggler in the FSU Flying High Circus.
"I had a great experience as an undergraduate at Florida State," Gabriel says, "and made strong connections with professors in the mathematics and physics departments. It followed naturally to continue my studies in a program that I had found to be academically stimulating and personally rewarding."
And rewards keep coming. As a graduate student, he has been a two-time recipient of a University Fellowship and was awarded the Goodner Teaching Award. Gabriel is currently doing research in mathematical physics with Dr. Phil Bowers, and the two are collaborating on a paper they hope to submit for publication this fall.