Gates Cambridge Scholarship Awarded to Aiden Sagerman CC’24 and Sarah Shi CC’20

Friday, February 23, 2024

Aiden Sagerman CC’24 and Sarah Shi CC’20 have been awarded Gates Cambridge Scholarships. The program funds postgraduate study and research in any subject at the University of Cambridge; recipients are selected for their outstanding academic achievements, leadership potential and commitment to improving the lives of others.

Aiden Sagerman CC’24

Born and raised in San Francisco, Sagerman is a double major in comparative literature and mathematics and his academic and research interests lie at the intersection of STEM and the humanities. In his comparative literature work, Sagerman is pursuing an understanding of the convergence of scientific knowledge production and politics. His focuses are on the history of international eugenics in the early 20th century and the history and philosophy of mathematics.

His thesis will be on collaborations between American eugenicists and their populist counterparts in France and Italy to uncover how these thinkers worked together across their different politics, national allegiances, concepts of race and (pseudo-)scientific methodologies.

Sagerman’s mathematical interests have led him to pursue research on forcing, a philosophical technique used to build universes that are “forced” to have desirable properties. He also published a paper in geometric topology with Mike Miller Eismeier, the J. F. Ritt Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics.

Sagerman also is a Columbia Science Research Fellow and Humanities Research Scholar, a Goldwater Scholar and a Junior Phi Beta Kappa recipient. He co-founded the Columbia Journal of Undergraduate Mathematics and was editor-in-chief of Gadfly, Columbia’s undergraduate philosophy magazine. He now writes a column for Gadfly on the philosophy of mathematics.

As a Gates Cambridge Scholar, Sagerman will pursue an M.Phil. in history and philosophy of science at the University of Cambridge.

Sarah Shi CC’20

Shi, who majored in earth science, developed an early interest in volcanology. As a child, she explored sills along the Hudson River and the volcanic terrains of Taiwan, where she was captivated by minerals and bubbling holes called fumaroles.

As an undergraduate, Shi studied the 2018 eruption of Volcán de Fuego and identified magma injections that might have triggered it. During her senior year, Shi was awarded the Euretta J. Kellett Fellowship, through which she pursued an M.Phil. in earth science at Cambridge. Her research used machine learning to explore how minerals record information about crustal magmatic systems.

Shi is currently a data science fellow in geoinformatics at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. She will return to Cambridge next year to pursue a Ph.D. in earth sciences and investigate the deep roots of magmatic systems.

Students and alumni can learn more about the Gates Cambridge Scholarship and other fellowship offerings through the Undergraduate Research & Fellowships Office.

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