Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Further adventures of math circle alumni: David Rolnick

Albany Area Math Circle alum David Rolnick is profiled in this excerpt from an MIT admissions blog post about French House, where he lives:

Let's start with that kid over there - the one at the dining table closest to you, with the brown hair. That's Davie.

Davie is a junior from southwest Vermont, double-majoring in Math and Music. At MIT, he is involved in the Gilbert & Sullivan society - which performs comic operas by Gilbert and Sullivan - and the chamber chorus, which is a class that runs for three hours per week.

Non-MIT-related hobbies include "birding", which consists of "watching birds, looking at birds, and studying birds", and doing the same for insects. Davie has written about a hundred and fifty nature articles, most for a local paper, but also a few in the Vermont Entomological Society Journal and local nature newsletters. At his house in Vermont, he has found about 540 species of moth, seven of which had not previously been found in Vermont.

If you’re feeling brave, go ahead and challenge him to a game of bananagrams.

Afterwards, ask him why he likes MIT. He'll tell you that in all his time here, he has met “maybe one person” who wasn't "really nice."

Now ask him to tell you about French House. He’ll list some nouns: "quirkiness, silliness, friendliness, cooking, intellectualism, humanities, incidentally French, games."

Check out the engaging video [in French, with English subtitles] that Davie and his housemates created to encourage prefrosh to consider living in French House--sounds like a lot of fun to me! (Davie is the one in the orange shirt.)

David has appeared in several MIT operatic productions--the photo below by MIT Tech photographer Elijah Meniah shows Dave (center) starring as KoKo in an MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players production of Mikado last year:

Davie also participated in the Duluth Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. The first photo below shows him presenting his work in progress to his fellow students:

The second photo below shows David and other Duluth REUers getting to ready to set out on one of that program's legendary weekly excursions (as a break from their research)--white water rafting:

Congratulations to David on his many accomplishments--including yet another Honorable Mention in this year's Putnam College Math Contest. And congratulations as well to our other AAMC alums who made the national top scorer lists this year: Yipu Wang, a sophomore at Cornell, who made the Putnam top 188, and to Andrew Ardito, a freshman at Princeton, who made the national top 500 list.

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