Age: 18Newton, MA
Project Title: Functional Equations in Complex Analysis and Number Theory
My research primarily focuses on an important problem from the mathematical field of complex analysis: to solve a specific equation of functions and to characterize the set of solutions. The mathematician Ritt solved a far simpler version of this question in 1923; his results yielded advancements in various other fields, ranging from number theory to dynamical systems. My project enhances Ritt’s techniques to extend and improve his results. I hope that my results will also spawn advancements in other mathematical fields.
Felix Wang is a rising college freshman at Stanford University. He is from Newton, Massachusetts and attended Roxbury Latin in West Roxbury, MA. Wang says he is unbelievably excited and honored to be a Davidson Fellow!
Mathematics has fascinated Felix since childhood. In middle school, he spent countless hours poring over textbooks in preparation for various math competitions, but by the time he reached high school, his interest in learning math to win competitions had faded. Felix searched for a more challenging and more fulfilling way to use his talents, and decided to attempt mathematics research. He stumbled upon the MIT-PRIMES program, and after he applied and was accepted, he was introduced to his two mentors and this project.
Many of the challenges Wang faced came from non-mathematical areas. For instance, according to Felix, "due to my lack of organization, my research and notes were often scattered all over the place, entirely unintelligible. Furthermore, my penchant for procrastination often led me to fail to meet deadlines, and I struggled to complete the Davidson portfolio on time. During these times of trouble, I often turned to my two mentors: Professor Michael Zieve and Thao Do. Both mentors provided tremendous assistance, and have always inspired and motivated me."
The results of Felix's research project make a positive contribution to society by advancing society’s mathematical knowledge. In particular, his research project extends and improves several results of the mathematician Joseph Ritt (1893-1951). Since Ritt’s results have generated important results in the fields such as complex analysis, number theory, dynamical systems, and many others, Wang believe that his results will also have significant contributions to several mathematical fields. For example, in collaboration with his mentors, he has recently applied his result and technique to a recently proven number-theoretic conjecture. With minimal effort, he was able to improve the number-theoretic result. Wang envisions that his work will produce such improvements in many realms of mathematics.
Wang attended the Roxbury Latin School in West Roxbury, MA from August 2011 to June 2017. He says his schooling experience was quite typical; he took the standard courses along with most of his classmates. Next year, he will attend Stanford University, where he hopes to major in either math or computer science.
Felix's primary academic interests are math, computer science, and economics. Outside of academics, he enjoys playing sports (soccer, frisbee, and spikeball) and playing the piano.
If you could have dinner with the five most interesting people in the world, living or dead, who would they be?
Alexander Hamilton, Eliza Hamilton, Aaron Burr, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson
If you had a warning label, what would yours say?Be careful: will steal and eat all of your food
What is one of your favorite quotes?
"Now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good." - East of Eden by John Steinbeck
In the News
9/12/17 - The Society For Science & The Public: Ten Tips From Davidson Fellows on How to Be Successful in STEM
NEWTON TEEN AWARDED $25,000 FOR RESEARCH IN COMPLEX ANALYSIS
Felix Wang to be Named a 2017 Davidson Fellow
Click the links below to see hi-res photos of Felix:
Started in 1999, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a 501(c)3 private operating foundation. Our mission is to recognize, nurture and support profoundly intelligent young people ages 18 and under, and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference.
Profoundly gifted students are those who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ and achievement tests. Read more about this population in this article.