Pitt Honors College Senior Gets Award, Scholarship for Study at Oxford

Issue Date: 
April 26, 2009
Timothy M. AdamoTimothy M. Adamo

Timothy M. Adamo, a University of Pittsburgh Honors College senior who will receive the BS in mathematics, physics, and psychology today, has been awarded a University Clarendon Fund Award and The Dervorguilla Scholarship from the University of Oxford to study for a PhD at Oxford’s Balliol College in England.

The Dervorguilla is complemented by the Clarendon Fund Award, which covers full university and college fees and also may provide an additional grant for living expenses, up to a combined total of approximately $20,000 per year. The Clarendon is sponsored by Oxford University Press and is only available for study at Oxford.

Balliol awards two Dervorguilla Scholarships—one to a candidate in the mathematical, physical, and life sciences division and the other to any division of the University—for study beginning at Balliol College in October 2009. The scholarship provides an additional grant of $8,952 per year for living expenses.

A Maryland native, Adamo is a University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Scholar with a 4.0 GPA whose plans for Oxford are to pursue a PhD in mathematics, focusing on differential geometry and twistor theory. His career goal is to become a professor of mathematics at a research university.

“A distinguishing feature of Adamo is his desire to make math interesting for other people,” said Alec Stewart, Pitt Honors College dean. “Popularization is a serious interest, and he articulates clearly to all who will listen that mathematics has much to say about many areas outside of formal mathematics.”

Adamo says he likes showing friends the parallels for the unity of mathematics in places as disparate as the movie theater, rugby field, and concert hall.

Although early in his career, Adamo has a significant list of accomplishments. Two papers “The Gravitational Field of a Radiating Electromagnetic Dipole,” and “Electromagnetic Induced Gravitational Perturbations,” with Ezra T. Newman, Pitt professor emeritus of physics, have been accepted for Classical and Quantum Gravity (2008). He is collaborating with Newman and Carlos Kozameh, University of Cordoba, on a review article on asymptotically shear null geodesic congruences for Living Reviews in Relativity, to be published soon, and he has collaborated with other professors in work on game theory.

Adamo studied a semester abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa from July to December 2007. He is a member of Sigma Pi Sigma national honor society in physics, Psi Chi national psychology honor society, the American Physical Society, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars; he also was selected by Pitt’s mathematics department for membership in the Mathematical Association of America.

Among Adamo’s other honors are the 2008 and 2009 Pitt Department of Mathematics Culver Prize, given to an outstanding undergraduate mathematics student; the 2009 Department of Physics Halliday Award, for outstanding undergraduate research; and selection for the University’s delegation to the 2008 National Conference on Undergraduate Research, where he gave an oral presentation on game theory and differential equations modeling for arms races. Adamo also is a three-time winner of the Brackenridge Undergraduate Research Fellowship, allowing him to perform independent research during the summer. His Brackenridge projects included original work on game theory and differential equations for arms race modeling, the graceful exit problem in superstring cosmology, asymptotically flat space-times, and topological phase transitions in braneworlds.

Outside the academic realm, Adamo serves as an escort coordinator for Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania, plays on Pitt’s intramural soccer team, and was a member of the city’s Pittsburgh Rugby Football Club and the University of Cape Town Weight Lifting Club. He has done solo and team backpacking in Maryland, Washington, and West Virginia.