Fairfield junior chosen as Goldwater Scholar

For the second consecutive year, a Fairfield University student has been awarded a $7,500 per year Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for each of the next two years, given for excellence in mathematics, natural sciences or engineering. The Goldwater Foundation, a federally-endowed agency, selected Matthew Day, a junior from Hawthorne, N.Y., who plans to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics in order to conduct research in mathematical economics.

The foundation chose 316 sophomores and juniors from across the country for the honor, the most prestigious award of its type, to encourage them to pursue advanced study.

As a double major in mathematics and economics, Day attained a grade point average of 3.95 out of a possible 4.0. As a sophomore, he was in the senior level undergraduate honors seminar in the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra and while still a freshman, took a sophomore level class in Discrete Mathematics. Dr. Benjamin Fine, professor of mathematics, his instructor in both classes, ranks him among the top one percent of the students he taught over the past 20 years. Day has been collaborating with Dr. Fine in research that they expect to publish.

In recommending Day for the scholarship, another mathematics professor, Dr. Chris Bernhardt, said the University will need to supplement its regular courses with advanced material for Day.

In addition to his academic interests, Day has been active in Sunshine Kids, a program for children who have lost a parent to AIDS; Hunger Cleanup as a board member; the Student Honors Association; as a Eucharistic Minister; and a project leader for L.E.A.D. (Leadership Education And Development).

He came to Fairfield from Regis High School in New York City where he was a member of the track and field and cross-country teams, vice chairman of his class, attended seminars at Goldman Sachs &Company to learn about stocks, bonds and mathematical models, and participated in the Executive Internship Program at the Commodities Exchange in New York.

Fairfield's first Goldwater Scholars was Jose Simoes who graduated last month.

Members of the Fairfield University Scholarship Committee who reviewed applications were Professors Edmond O'Connell (Chemistry), Randy Chambers (Biology), Ron Salafia (Neuroscience), Peter Spoerri (Mathematics & Computer Science) and Dr. Beverly Kahn, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and committee chair.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on June 1, 1998

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