Elizabeth Townsend Beazley ('03)

Elizabeth is a research mathematician as well as an award-winning teacher of mathematics. In June 2009, she earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago, completing a graduate-student career marked by a number of significant achievements. In 2009, she received the Kowalski Fellowship to support her dissertation research in the fields of algebraic geometry and combinatorial representation theory. In 2006, 2007, and 2008, she won teaching awards from the University of Chicago (the Physical Sciences Division Teaching Prize in both 2006 and 2008, and the Lawrence and Josephine Graves Prize in 2007). For the 2009-2010 academic year, Elizabeth was an RTG Hildebrandt Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University Michigan. Fall 2010, she began a tenure-track appointment as Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Williams College.  She is currently an Assistant Professor at Haverford college.

Elizabeth summarizes her teaching philosophy (which is shared by members of Washington and Lee's Mathematics Department) as follows:

"My approach to teaching mathematics is predicated upon my belief that mathematics is a fundamental subject in any liberal arts curriculum, the goal of which is to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, and to increase intellectual independence and creativity."

Her principal experience with a liberal arts curriculum occurred, of course, at W&L, where she earned a number of distinctions. For example, she graduated as a University Scholar, summa cum laude, with honors in Mathematics (Thesis: "Root Quantum Numbers over Hilbertian Fields"). She won the Mathematics Department's Taylor Scholarship, studied mathematics abroad through the Budapest Semesters Program, and participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates Program at LSU, with support from the National Science Foundation.

In addition to research and teaching activities, Elizabeth has served on a number of advisory, steering, and search committees. In May 2007, she served on a panel addressing the issue "How to Survive Graduate School" for participants in the Program for Women and Mathematics, which is sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study and Princeton University. Liz enjoys hearing from W&L students considering graduate study in mathematics or study-abroad opportunities. Her current e-mail address is Elizabeth.Beazley@williams.edu.