Patrick Dixon Wins Marshall Scholarship
Patrick Dixon of San Rafael, N.M., a senior mathematics major at Occidental College, has won a prestigious Marshall Scholarship to pursue postgraduate studies in Great Britain next fall.
He is the ninth Occidental student since 1972 to be named to receive the prize. The scholarship pays up to $60,000 over two years.
Dixon hopes to study mathematical biology at Oxford University. “Math bio looks at modeling biological phenomena, from the small scale, such as growth of bones and tumors, to the large scale, such as epidemiology and population dynamics,” Dixon said. “It’s important, for example, to have an idea about what sectors of the population should be vaccinated against avian flu to minimize the effects of a pandemic. I want to get a firmer grounding in math bio as a precursor to work in public health policy.”
“Patrick has extraordinary abilities,” said Larry Caldwell, the Cecil H. and Louise Gamble Professor in Political Science at Occidental. “He has taught himself several discrete areas of mathematics, and he’s spending this semester abroad at the University of Budapest, long one of the world’s premiere places for mathematical genius.”
Dixon transferred to Occidental his junior year from New Mexico State University. Since arriving, he’s been active in student government and debate. Last month, he represented Occidental in an international debate tournament in Dublin, Ireland. His team was ranked among the top 30 of the 76 teams participating.
Up to 40 Marshall Scholarships are awarded each year to American citizens who have graduated from a four-year college or university. The scholarships were founded by an act of Parliament in 1953 to commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan – the American program to rebuild a ravaged Western Europe following World War II.