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Clarkson University Senior Nicholas Marshall Receives Levinus Clarkson Award

Graduating senior Nicholas F. Marshall of Huntington, Vt., received the Levinus Clarkson Award during Clarkson University’s 121st commencement ceremony today. He was selected for the $1,000 award by a vote of the full University faculty based on his scholarship and promise of outstanding achievement.

Nicholas F. MarshallThe Levinus Clarkson Award was established by University founders Elizabeth and Frederica Clarkson in memory of their brother, Levinus, and was first awarded in 1909. This award and the Frederica Clarkson Award are traditionally given to the two top students in the graduating class.

Marshall received a bachelor of science degree in mathematics with a minor in computer science and was a member of the Honors Program. He was a presidential scholar for all seven semesters at Clarkson, and graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

For his final semester, Marshall was awarded the American Math Society’s Math in Moscow Scholarship funded by the National Science Foundation to study abroad in Moscow, Russia. This program provides North American students exposure to the Moscow school of mathematics, which is regarded as one of the best in the world, through classes taught in English.

During the summer of 2011 Marshall worked on an applied mathematics and biology interdisciplinary study with Professors Michael Twiss and Joseph Skufca to improve understanding of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River ecosystems. Marshall continued the research into his sophomore year, and was named second author on a journal article for his contribution.

In the summer of 2012, Marshall participated in the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) on industrial mathematics and statistics. He focused on operations research, specifically, understanding risk in financial markets by using forward-looking signals to estimate asset covariance matrices. His research group presented their findings at the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego, Calif.

During his junior year at Clarkson, Marshall worked under Professor Philip Hopke on a research problem in computational atmospheric chemistry. He investigated outlier detection methods to improve the accuracy of Positive Matrix Factorization, a computational method used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to monitor air pollution. For his contribution, Marshall was named co-author to the keynote address given by Hopke at a European Commission pollution workshop in Ispra, Italy.

During the summer of 2013 Marshall was a member of the high-dimensional data analysis research group at the Cornell University Mathematics REU under the guidance of Professor Matthew Hirn. His research focused on developing manifold learning methods for time-evolving systems. He continued the research for his honors thesis on Time-Coupled Diffusion Maps supervised by Professor Joseph Skufca.

Marshall’s attraction to Clarkson began in his senior year at Mount Mansfield Union High School when he received the Clarkson University Achievement Award for academic excellence in mathematics and science. Since arriving at Clarkson, Marshall has received the Pi Mu Epsilon Sophomore, R. Gerald Bradshaw Junior, and Hamlin-Darraugh Senior Mathematics awards. In 2013, he achieved a Meritorious Win on the COMAP Math Modeling Contest, placed Top-10 at the Rochester Math Olympiad, and scored Top-200 in the national Putnam Math Competition. Additionally, he is a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, the mathematical honor society. Marshall also served as a teaching assistant for Differential Equations and tutored a variety of mathematics and computer science classes.

He was a varsity member of both the Cross Country running and Nordic ski teams. He was co-captain of the Cross Country team for two years and represented the Clarkson Nordic Ski Team at USCSA Nationals in 2011 and 2013.

Following commencement, Marshall will be pursuing a Ph.D. in applied mathematics at Yale University. His research interests are in high-dimensional data analysis and machine learning, specifically, methods arising from harmonic analysis and spectral graph theory. He hopes to work in collaboration with researchers in diverse fields, ranging from engineering to medicine, to develop a variety of mathematical and computational tools to solve real world problems.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

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[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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