Daley McMahon ’24 — the URECA researcher of the month for February — is a mathematics major in the departmental honors program and has been engaged with undergraduate research and substantial graduate coursework since her junior year. By graduation, she will be among the few students in her year to have completed the full set of seven graduate core courses offered by the Department of Mathematics — classes intended for first-year doctoral students to form the foundation of their future research.
In Summer 2023, she was awarded URECA funding to conduct a mathematical research project under the direction of Evita Nestoridi, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, where she investigated group-theoretic properties of matrix groups over finite fields. McMahon was also a participant in the 2023 Summer Math Research Experience for Undergraduates and a recipient of the Summer Math Scholarship for that year. She did research in complex function theory during that summer under the direction of math lecturers James Waterman and Yongquan Zhang, investigating the behavior of the infinite family of derivatives for holomorphic and meromorphic functions. McMahon is completing an honors thesis as part of this work and will be presenting a poster at the URECA Celebration on April 30.
When asked how research has enhanced her overall education, McMahon responded: “Just the experience of doing research is very valuable. There are a number of math majors who are considering graduate school, so doing research as an undergraduate is a good way to figure out if that path is right for you. It’s not the same as being in graduate school, certainly, but it gives you a taste of what research is like.”
In her junior year, McMahon was named a recipient of the Department of Mathematics’ Kuga-Sah Memorial Award, which recognizes excellence in mathematics by a single undergraduate junior. She is president of the Math Club, and she founded and leads a student chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics, the Women in Mathematics Club. McMahon has served as a grader for math classes and a tutor in the Mathematics Learning Center. She intends to earn a PhD in mathematics with a focus on mathematical analysis and is currently in the application process for graduate school. This summer, McMahon will be interning with the Department of Defense.
Read the full interview with URECA Director Karen Kernan.