ESP Biography

ISABEL VOGT, Harvard junior studying Math and Chemistry/Physics

Major: Math and Chemistry/Physics

College/Employer: Harvard University

Year of Graduation: 2014

Picture of Isabel Vogt

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I am a junior at Harvard University studying math and chemistry and physics. I am particularly interested in organic chemistry, number theory, abstract algebra, and mathematical modeling of chemical and biological processes. I work in the Szostak lab researching self-replicating chemical systems and conducting an in vitro selection for a self-replicating RNA oligomer.
I am very passionate about the beauty and elegance of mathematics and would love nothing more than to share that love for math with the world.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

X6003: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Symmetry in HSSP Summer 2012 (Jul. 08, 2012)
In this class we will approach one of the fundamental concepts across a variety of disciplines: symmetry. What makes an object symmetrical? How do we understand and classify those symmetries? How does symmetry give us information about conservation laws in physics and bonding in chemistry? Is symmetry desirable evolutionarily, artistically, aesthetically? We will begin to answer these questions using the language of math - that is group theory. We will explore how symmetries are classified, and what makes two symmetrical objects fundamentally different or the same. Then we will turn to symmetry in chemistry, physics and biology. How are symmetries fundamental to our understanding of physical law as well as the workings of the natural world? We will then take a look at notions of symmetry in art and philosophy. Finally we will return to the important theme of symmetry in math and look at the symmetries present in more abstract "symmetrical objects". This class is going to be challenging, with a lot of difficult, but rewarding math and science. However, the emphasis will be on a deep understanding and appreciation for the mathematics of symmetry versus a laundry list of theorems and proofs.

M4767: Introduction to Proof-based Mathematics in HSSP Summer 2011 (Jul. 10, 2011)
Interested in math, but a little bored with the tedious, redundant problems presented in high school? Keep wondering why you can use the formulas and shortcuts your teachers give you? Want to learn about the major branches of math not even hinted at in a traditional high school curriculum? Or better yet, want to learn what pure math is all about: proving theorems?!? In this class we will explore the construction of elegant mathematical proofs through some exciting areas of math: abstract algebra, finite geometry, and elementary number theory. The class will include lecture-style presentation of material and mediated group work constructing your own proofs.