It’s easy to be impressed by Amanda Cowell. For starters, her goal for the near-future includes pursuing a Ph.D. in “pure mathematics.” And she’s already figured out what she’d like to study. That would be knot theory, which she counts as a passion namely because it allows her to “combine techniques from hyperbolic geometry, algebraic topology, and complex analysis.” Like we said, it’s easy to be impressed.
During her time at UM-Dearborn, Cowell has racked up numerous accomplishments that make that dream plenty realistic. In the summer of 2017, she participated in the UM-Dearborn Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Mathematical Analysis and Applications, where she worked on a project that earned her a spot at several national conferences. And the following summer, she did the REU program at California State University, San Bernardino. There she conducted the research that led to her current love of knot theory — and produced individual work that is, again, making the rounds nationally.
In the midst of all that, Cowell has still somehow found time to help others pursue their own math passions. For several years, she’s worked as a mentor for UM-Dearborn’s Active Calculus program; and she helped middle and high school students in the Maize and Blue Math Circle program. She even did a stint as president of the Math Club, where she gave the student organization a fresh boost of energy.
“My commitment to destigmatizing the study of mathematics has been a driving force in my decision to seek positions of leadership,” Cowell said. “While I have faced difficulties and setbacks during my studies, I have been able to persist in achieving my goals. And I make an effort to share my struggles with others as a model for perseverance.”