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>  News Releases >   2002 >   December

Dartmouth senior named 2003 Rhodes Scholar

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 12/09/02 • Contact James Donnelly


Heidi Williams '03
(Photo by Joe Mehling '69)

Dartmouth senior and Williston, N.D., native Heidi Williams was named a 2003 Rhodes scholar. At Oxford, she plans to study for the Masters of Science degree, specializing in the mathematical foundations of computer science.

The Rhodes Scholarships, created 100 years ago this year by the will of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and colonial pioneer, provide for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. This year's 32 scholars were chosen from 981 applicants at 341 colleges. Applicants were chosen on the basis of high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor.

At Dartmouth, Williams is a math major interested in algebra and number theory as well as math education. Her work with Professor of Mathematics Dorothy Wallace on the Math Across the Curriculum program, which brings together more than 50 Dartmouth faculty members who integrate mathematics into everything from music to architecture, convinced her to pair her burgeoning interest in math theory and research with teaching.

Williams has published a paper in Cryptologia , a national journal on cryptology, and attended the Semester in Mathematics program in Budapest, Hungary, where she says she "witnessed the beautiful interplay among group theory, field theory, geometry and number theory" which she hopes to study further. She co-authored a chapter for a calculus textbook, was chosen as the winner of a national cryptology undergraduate paper competition, and has received several scholarships for her research.

Williams recently organized a "Sister-to-Sister Conference" which brought more than 100 middle-school girls from Vermont and New Hampshire to Dartmouth for a day of discussions and interaction with Dartmouth women. The conference was wholly organized and run by students under Williams's supervision.

Williams also works as a writing tutor at Dartmouth's Composition Center and is active in ballet and modern dance. She serves as a mentor for Dartmouth Women in Science Project (WISP), is a member of Dartmouth's Green Key Honor Society and National Society of Collegiate Scholars and numerous national professional education and mathematics organizations, including the American Association of University Women and the Association of Women in Mathematics.

In March 2002, Williams was awarded a Truman Scholarship by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation and in October, Williams was named one of Glamour Magazine's 2002 "Top 10 College Women."

Williams grew up in Williston, N.D., and attended Williston Senior High School where, along with taking advanced courses in math, she was active in music and student government and a member of the National Honor Society. As a sixth grader she began volunteering at the Williston Teen Center, which sponsors drug and alcohol-free activities for teens in the community. She was elected to the center's executive board and later went on to serve as secretary. In 1999 Williams placed second in statistics and third in mathematics at the Intel International Science Fair and was named a national Presidential Scholar-one of 140 high school seniors nationwide to receive the honor.

- James Donnelly

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