PRIMES Named Mentorships
George Lusztig Mentorships
In September 2014 MIT Mathematics Professor George Lusztig, the recipient of the 2014 Shaw Prize in mathematics, used a significant part of this prize to make a very generous gift to PRIMES, as the first contribution to its endowment. This has made it possible to establish George Lusztig PRIMES mentorships. Several such mentorships will be awarded each year to continuing PRIMES mathematics mentors for exceptional mentor service in past years.
Michael and Victoria Bershadsky Mentorship
In September 2020 Michael and Victoria Bershadsky made a major gift towards PRIMES endowment. This has made it possible to establish a Bershadsky PRIMES mentorship, to be awarded each year to a continuing PRIMES mathematics mentor for exceptional mentor service in past years.
2024 Lusztig Mentors
Dr. Felix Gotti is an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT. He completed his PhD in 2019 at UC Berkeley under Prof. Lauren Williams. His current research focuses on atomic and combinatorial aspects of commutative rings and monoids. He has been the PRIMES Group Research Coordinator and the CrowdMath Lead Mentor during the past two years, and during this period his direct PRIMES/CrowdMath mentees have published 9 research papers under his supervision. 

Serina Hu is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT. She concentrated in mathematics at Harvard, where she was awarded the Highbridge Prize. Her research interests are in noncommutative algebra and representation theory. She is the director of √mathroots @ MIT and has also mentored for PRIMES, DRP, and GUMMI. 

Vijay Srinivasan is a Ph.D. student in the Mathematics department at MIT. Previously, he was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, where he also studied mathematics. His research interests are in number theory and arithmetic geometry. He is currently the Head Mentor for the MathROOTS program and has served as a mentor in other department programs such as DRP and GUMMI. 
2024 Bershadsky Mentor
David Darrow is a Ph.D. student in the Math Department at MIT. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from MIT and an M.Phil. in Scientific Computing from the University of Cambridge, and is a PRIMES USA (2017) alumnus himself. His research interests include fluid dynamics, physical applied math, probability, and geometry, and he has served as a PRIMES USA mentor since 2021. 
2023 Lusztig Mentors
Nitya Mani is a PhD student in the mathematics department at MIT, studying graph theory, probability, and optimization. She received her undergraduate mathematics degree from Stanford. Since 2021, she has been a PRIMES, SPUR, and GUMMI mentor; her PRIMES student Edward Yu won the Gold Medal in Math at the 2022 USA S.T. Yau High School Science Award. 

Mary Stelow is a PhD student in the department of mathematics at MIT. Her research interests are in gauge theory, Floer theory, and low dimensional topology. She has been cocoordinator of PRIMES Circle since 2021, and has also mentored for RSI. She has also mentored DRP students at MIT and is a cochair of the GradUndergrad Math Mentoring Initiative at MIT. 

Dr. Kent Vashaw is an NSF Mathematical Science Research Postdoc and Instructor at MIT. He completed his PhD in August 2021 at Louisiana State University. His primary advisor was Milen T. Yakimov, and his secondary advisor was Daniel K. Nakano. His research interests broadly are at the intersection of homological algebra, noncommutative algebra, and representation theory. 
2023 Bershadsky Mentor
Julius Baldauf is a PhD student in the Mathematics Department at MIT. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Physics, also from MIT. Julius' research interests are in Geometry and Analysis. He has been both a student and mentor for DPR, SPUR, UROP, and Yulia's Dream. Julius was awarded the Rogers Prize for the best SPUR paper in 2018, and the Charles and Holly Housman Award for excellence in teaching in 2022. 
2022 Lusztig Mentors
Marisa Gaetz is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT, where her studies center around representation theory and Lie theory. She was also an undergraduate at MIT, graduating in 2020. As an undergraduate at MIT, Marisa was a PRIMES Circle mentor for three years. As a grad student, she was a DRP mentor in 2021, and she has continued working with PRIMES Circle, serving as a coordinator since Spring 2021. 

Yibo Gao is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT, interested in algebraic combinatorics. He was also an undergraduate at MIT. He has served as a PRIMES, SPUR(+), UROP(+), DRP and RSI mentor since 2018. His PRIMES student Rupert Li won the 4th place in 2020 Regeneron STS, and his PRIMES students Joshua Guo, Karthik Seetharaman and Ilaria Seidel became 2020 Yau Science Award USA semifinalists. 

Arun Kannan is a Ph.D. student in mathematics at MIT. He studies representation theory under the supervision of Pavel Etingof, and his research interests include Lie theory in the Verlinde category. He received a B.S in computer science and mathematics (double major) and also an M.S. in mathematics at the University of Virginia. At UVA, Arun won the EJ McShane Prize, awarded to the top undergraduate mathematics student, and was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in 2018. At MIT, he has served as a PRIMES and DRP mentor since 2020. Arun and his 2020 PRIMES student Honglin Zhu published their PRIMES paper in the Journal of Algebra, and Honglin was selected as a 2021 Regeneron STS Scholar for this paper. 
2022 Bershadsky Mentor
YounHun Kim is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT. He received his B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics from Brown University. His research interests are in Algorithms, Statistics, and Computational Biology. Youn served as a PRIMES mentor since 2017, a MathROOTS mentor in 2018 and 2019, an RSI mentor in 2017 and a DRP mentor in 2018. His PRIMES student Dylan Pentland was a Regeneron STS finalist, and RSI student Michelle Shen was a semifinalist.

2021 Lusztig Mentors
Peter Haine is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT. Peter was also an undergraduate at MIT, finishing in 2016. Their research centers around homotopy theory and algebraic geometry. Peter served as a DRP mentor in 2017 and 2018, a MathROOTS mentor in 2017, and since 2018 has been the coordinator for the PRIMES Circle program. 

Chun Hong Lo is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT. He received his BSc in mathematics from Imperial College London and completed Part III in mathematics at University of Cambridge. His research interests are in enumerative geometry. He has served as a PRIMES, RSI, UROP+ and SPUR mentor since 2018. He has won the Rogers Prize for the best SPUR paper together with his SPUR2019 students Carl Schildkraut and William Zhao. His PRIMES students Vincent Fan, William Yue, and Sebastian Zhu became 2019 Yau Science Award USA semifinalists. 

Adela (YiYu) Zhang is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT, with research insterests in algebraic topology and homotopy theory. When she was an undergraduate at MIT, she was a PRIMES Circle mentor for two years. In grad school, she has worked with students in PRIMES, RSI, and UROP+, and served as an academic mentor at MathROOTS. 
2021 Bershadsky Mentor
Andrey Khesin is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT. He received his B.S. in mathematics from the University of Toronto. His research interests are in quantum computation and quantum information. He has served as a PRIMES mentor and MathROOTS Program Director since 2020. 
2020 Lusztig Mentors
Vishal Arul is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT. He received his B.S. in mathematics from Stanford University. His research interests are in number theory and algebraic geometry. He has served as a PRIMES mentor (2016) and MathROOTS mentor (2016) and academic coordinator (since 2017). His PRIMES student Dhruv Rohatgi is a 2016 Siemens semifinalist and a 2017 Regeneron STS scholar. He is a recipient of the Charles and Holly Housman Award for Excellence in Teaching. 

Yongyi Chen, a PRIMES alumnus (2011), is a graduate of MIT and a Ph.D. student in the Mathematics department at MIT. His research interests lie in algebraic number theory. He has served as a PRIMES, SPUR, and UROP+ mentor since 2017. His PRIMES student Kaan Dokmeci is a 2018 Regeneron STS scholar and a 2017 Siemens regional finalist. 

Kaavya Valiveti is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT. She received her B.A. in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests are in the analysis of loop spaces. She has served as a PRIMES mentor since 2019. 
2019 Lusztig Mentors
Christian Gaetz is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT. He was an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota. Christian is interested in algebraic and enumerative combinatorics, representation theory, graph theory, and connections between these areas and computation. He has served as a PRIMES, DRP, and UROP+ mentor since 2017. His PRIMES student Ayush Agarwal is a 2018 Regeneron STS scholar. 

Zhulin Li is a Ph.D. student in the Mathematics department at MIT. She received her B.Eng. from Yao Class of Tsinghua University. She is working in algebraic topology. Zhulin has served as a PRIMES, RSI, and DRP mentor since 2017. 

Chris Ryba is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT. His primary research interests are representation theory and algebraic combinatorics. He has served as a PRIMES and UROP+ mentor since 2017. His PRIMES student Mihir Singhal is a 2018 Regeneron STS scholar. 
2018 Lusztig Mentors
Zhenkun Li is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT. His interests are in low dimensional topology, especially Gauge theory. Zhenkun has served as a PRIMES, RSI, and DRP mentor since 2016. His RSI2016 student DonaMaria Ivanova won the Fourth Award in Math at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in 2017. 

Gwen McKinley is a Ph.D. student in the Mathematics department at MIT. She received her B.S. in mathematics from the University of California, Davis, and an associate’s degree from Pasadena City College. Her research interests are in combinatorics and graph theory. She has been MathROOTS program director (20162017), a teaching assistant, a math tutor, and an academic peer advisor, and she loves working with students! In 2017 she was honored as one of MIT's Graduate Women of Excellence. 

Ao Sun is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT. He is interested in geometry, especially geometric analysis. He has served as a PRIMES, RSI, and DRP mentor since 2015. Most projects he mentored are related to geometric differential equations and combinatoric geometry. 
2017 Lusztig Mentors
Lucas MasonBrown is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT. He specializes in representation theory and its connections to quantum mechanics. He has a recreational interest in old handwritten codes and recently published a book, Decoding Roger Williams, on a code he deciphered in college. Lucas has served as a PRIMES, MSRP, and DRP mentor since 2015. Before beginning at MIT, Lucas was a seventh grade math teacher in Boston. He is a recipient of the George J. Mitchell Fellowship, the David Howell Premium for Excellence in Mathematics, and the Karen T. Romer Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award. 

Andrew Rzeznik is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT. His interests are Fluid Mechanics, Wave Phenomena, Dynamical Systems, and Atmospheric Modelling. He has served as a PRIMES, RSI, and DRP mentor since 2015. His RSI student Meena Jagadeesan became a 2016 Davidson Fellow Laureate, won the 2nd place at 2016 Intel STS, and became a 2015 Siemens semifinalist. 

Guangyi Yue is a PhD student in the Mathematics department at MIT. She is interested in representation theory and combinatorics. She has worked as a mentor in the PRIMES, RSI, and DRP programs since 2016. During 2016, she mentored a project on hyperplane arrangement and another one on combinatorial representation theory. 
2016 Lusztig Mentors
Chiheon Kim is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Mathematics at MIT. His research interests include combinatorial optimization and discrete geometry. He has served as a PRIMES and RSI mentor since 2013. His PRIMES2013 student, Junho Won, became 2014 Intel STS semifinalist and won Outstanding Presentation award at 2014 MAA Undergraduate Student Poster Session. His RSI2013 student Bertrand Stone became Semifinalist at Siemens 2013, Semifinalist at Intel STS 2014, and received an Honorable Mention for AMS Menger Award at Intel ISEF 2014. His RSI2014 student David Stoner won IMO2015 with a gold medal. His RSI2014 student Kavish Gandhi became a Semifinalist at Intel STS 2015 and published an article on arXiv.org (http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.7983). Chiheon led PRIMES reading groups in 20142015. 
Seth ShelleyAbrahamson is a Ph.D. student in the
mathematics department at MIT, specializing in Representation Theory. He has served as a PRIMES, RSI, and SPUR mentor since 2014. Together with his SPUR2015 student Charles (Yuchen) Fu, he has won the Rogers Prize for the best SPUR paper. His students have published articles on arXiv.org and submitted to journals (http://arxiv.org/abs/1510.03086, http://arxiv.org/abs/1507.08365, and http://arxiv.org/abs/1506.05503). 

Isabel Vogt is a Ph.D. student at MIT focusing on algebraic geometry and number theory. Her research interests include elliptic curves and their associated Galois representations. She graduated from Harvard in 2014 with an AB in mathematics, and chemistry and physics. While at Harvard she was a course assistant for the math department and was a recipient of a Derek Bok Center teaching award three years in a row. She also mentors elementary and middle school girls in problem solving at Girl's Angle: A Math Club for Girls, and has taught math courses at Harvard and MIT's Educational Studies Program (ESP). In 2015 she was honored as one of MIT's Graduate Women of Excellence. She was a PRIMES Circle mentor in 20132014 and has served as PRIMES Circle Coordinator since the fall of 2014. She represented PRIMES at the NSFsupported Forum on Next Generation STEM Learning for All, with the participation of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, in Washington, D.C., in November 2015. 
2015 Lusztig Mentors
Jesse Geneson is a Ph.D. student in the MIT Math Department. His area of interest is discrete mathematics and graph theory. He was an RSI mentor in 20112014 and a PRIMES mentor in 20122014. His RSI student, Sitan Chen, won the 3rd Prize at 2011 Siemens Competition and became a national finalist at 2012 Intel STS; two other RSI students became Intel STS semifinalists, and one became a Siemens semifinalist. His PRIMES students, Jonathan Tidor and Rohil Prasad, won the 5th Prize at the 2012 Siemens Competition, and a PRIMESUSA student, Peter Tian, won the 1st Prize in the 2014 Siemens Competition ($100,000 scholarship). His students have published articles in The Electronic Journal of Combinatorics and on arXiv.org (http://arxiv.org/abs/1307.1169, http://arxiv.org/abs/1208.1814, http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.3147, http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.0505, http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.3810). 
Darij Grinberg is a Ph.D. student in the MIT Math Department. His field of interest is algebra, especially constructive algebra, representation theory and algebraic combinatorics. He was a PRIMES mentor in 20122014. In 2012 he comentored William Kuszmaul and Ziling Zhou, who became 2012 Siemens regional finalists; in 2013 he mentored William Kuszmaul, who became 2014 Intel STS finalist, 2013 Siemens semifinalist, and 2013 Davidson Fellow. His PRIMESUSA student Eric Neyman became a 2014 Siemens semifinalist. His students have published articles in The Electronic Journal of Combinatorics and on arXiv.org (http://arxiv.org/abs/1402.3881, http://arxiv.org/abs/1402.3839, http://arxiv.org/abs/1304.5669, http://arxiv.org/abs/1304.5667, http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.5039). 

Yufei Zhao is a Ph.D. student in the MIT Math Department. He was a PRIMES mentor in 20132014, first leading a reading group on the probabilistic method and then supervising a research project in combinatorics. His research interests include extremal and probabilistic combinatorics and graph theory. He is the recipient of the honorable mention for 2011 Frank and Brennie Morgan prize for outstanding research in mathematics for undergraduates, 2010 Gates Cambridge Scholarship, and 2010 Jon A. Bucsela Prize in Mathematics is given in recognition of distinguished scholastic achievement, professional promise and enthusiasm for mathematics. 
Contact
With questions, contact PRIMES Program Director Slava Gerovitch at