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Imperial maths students sweep the board at science 'Oscars'

Melissa Turcotte

College maths undergraduates take three top places in Student of the Year awards<em> - News</em>

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By Danielle Reeves
Tuesday 13 October 2009

An Imperial Mathematics student is celebrating after picking up a prestigious Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Student of the Year award in recognition of her academic excellence.

Melissa Turcotte, who finished her four-year MSc Mathematics degree at Imperial this summer, received the Laing O'Rourke award for the Best Mathematics Student 2009 at a glittering 'Oscars'-style ceremony at London's Intercontinental hotel on 25 September 2009.


Winner Melissa Turcotte with Professor Ari Laptev, Head of Mathematics at Imperial (left) and Dr Frank Berkshire, Director of undergraduate studies (right)

Melissa attended the ceremony along with two other finalists, Daniel McNulty and Alistair Litterick - both also from Imperial's Department of Mathematics. Their category saw the College's student mathematicians beating competition from all of Britain's leading universities to secure all three finalist places.

The award was granted to Melissa for her dissertation project, supervised by Professor John Elgin, in which she found a new solution to a partial differential equation that models the behaviour of shallow water waves. Since leaving the College she has taken up a consultancy role at BAE Systems.

Melissa, who will graduate at the College's forthcoming Commemoration Day ceremony in the Royal Albert Hall on 21 October 2009, said: "I'm delighted to have won when so many outstanding students from around the UK were nominated – it's great to be recognised by the SET Awards and I would like to thank my supervisor, Professor John Elgin, for all the support he gave me throughout the project."

Dr Lynda White, Senior Tutor in Imperial's Department of Mathematics, said: "We're all very proud of Melissa's achievement. That all three Mathematics Student of the Year finalists were from Imperial is testament to the outstanding quality of the work carried out in our department – both by the students themselves and the staff who teach them."


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