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Senior Success: Mark Lotts ’12
Senior Success: Mark Lotts ’12
Mark Lotts '12
Mark Lotts ’12
major who has twice had his research published.
In summer 2011, he participated in a mathematics National Science Foundation-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana.
“I worked with other undergraduate mathematics majors on original research in number theory and cryptography and researched functional maps in order to find a new way to break the ElGamal Digital Signature Scheme,” says Lotts, a Newport News, Virginia native. “Our work was accepted for publication in the
Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Mathematics Journal
.” In 2012, Lotts participated in R-MC’s Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (
) program. He worked with
Professor John Rabung with the goal of improving lower bounds for van der Waerden numbers.
“I enjoyed this project because it allowed me to explore an area of
and computer science with a depth that cannot be reached in a classroom environment. I learned how to conduct research in a professional setting, a skill that will be extremely beneficial in graduate school and beyond. Our work was accepted for publication in the
Electronic Journal of Combinatorics
Lotts lauds Rabung for his mentorship and encouragement.
“He has been enormously helpful to me,” says Lotts. “I was in his
course, Coming to Life, and have remained his advisee ever since. He also helped me select schools to apply to for graduate school, and he has written numerous recommendation letters for me for summer programs, graduate school and scholarships. He and the other computer science faculty helped to facilitate my interest in the mathematical side of computer science by offering courses that aren’t taught regularly. If it weren’t for Professor Rabung, my experience at Randolph-Macon just wouldn’t have been the same.”
Lotts says one of his most memorable R-MC experiences took place during January Term (
) 2011 when he took a course titled The Holocaust: Remembering the Past, Present and Future, taught by
Professor Beth Gill. Travelers spent two weeks in Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow and Prague. Points of interest included the Brandenburg Gate, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps.
“I didn’t know many of the people in the course when I first signed up, but after just a few days abroad, we all became very close,” recalls Lotts. “The historical locations we visited were obviously very memorable, but even more memorable were our shared experiences. I am really fortunate that Randolph-Macon provides such good opportunities for students to travel abroad.”
Lotts worked as a calculus and computer science tutor at the
Higgins Academic Center
, and as a writing tutor at the
minor was on the Dean’s List every semester of his college career, and on April 20, 2012 he was inducted into
R-MC’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter
and received the prestigious John B. and Anita S. Werner Award, which is given annually to one or two graduating seniors who have been elected to PBK and who have made especially outstanding contributions to the college. During his tenure at R-MC, Lotts also received the Douglas W. Foard Phi Beta Kappa Award and the Richard E. Grove Award (for outstanding achievement in computer science), and he is a two-time recipient of the T. McNider Simpson Jr. Scholarship, which is awarded annually on the basis of academic achievement, creative leadership and a catholicity of interests.
Plans After Graduation
Lotts recently accepted a graduate teaching assistantship from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s (UTK) Department of Mathematics, and he is excited about beginning this newest chapter of his life.
“I will be supported fully while I pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics,” says Lotts, who also received a J. Wallace and Katie Dean Graduate Fellowship from the Graduate School at UTK. “I can’t wait to get started.”
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