Junior Jung Joo Suh Recognized as Goldwater Scholar

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May 15, 2019

Third-year mathematical sciences student Jung Joo Suh has been named a 2019 Goldwater Scholar by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

He is one of 496 recipients of the scholarship, which recognizes second- and third-year college students intending to pursue research careers in mathematics, engineering and the natural sciences. A total of 1,223 students were nominated by 443 academic institutions for the award, which provides up to $7,500 per undergraduate year for tuition, mandatory fees, books, room and board.

Suh, a native of South Korea who came to Carnegie Mellon from New Jersey, plans to enter a Ph.D. program in mathematics after graduation, with a focus on research in descriptive set theory and analysis.

“I’ve been interested in math for a long time,” Suh noted, especially set theory, which studies well-behaved subsets of certain topological spaces. “These topological spaces can sometimes be visualized as a certain graph, and with the graph theoretic interpretation a lot of interesting questions can be asked.”

Under Associate Professor Clinton Conley, Suh has been focusing especially on clopen sets – a set that is both open and closed­­ – in a specific topological space.

Suh says he enjoys doing research, and that its challenges make discovering new ideas rewarding. “When you’re struck on a problem, you can’t ask for help,” Suh noted.

“Jung Joo is a wonderful representative of Carnegie Mellon’s robust undergraduate mathematics program, where he has built deep foundations in several subfields and taken on ambitious research under the mentorship of Professor Clinton Conley,” said Richelle Bernazzoli, assistant director of the Undergraduate Research Office. “This is the sort of intellectual boldness that the Goldwater Scholarship seeks out and nurtures. We are delighted to see Jung Joo’s work recognized with this prestigious national award and we look forward to following his career as a mathematician.”

Besides research, Suh has also spent time working as a peer tutor, grader and teaching assistant. He’s excited about his Goldwater scholarship, and he said applying for it has helped him organize his research into a coherent narrative. Overall, Suh believes being recognized as a Goldwater scholar will aid his goal of attending graduate school.

“It shows that you’re ready to be a researcher,” Suh said.