Student Spotlight May 2018

    Trevor Leach




    Trevor Leach is a PhD student in Applied and Industrial Mathematics striving to graduate in May 2019. After achieving a B.A. in Secondary Math Education and Mathematics from the University of Kentucky, he furthered his education at the University of Louisville, where he completed his M.A. in Mathematics in 2017. Now, Trevor is working to complete his dissertation, researching Mathematical Social Choice and Consensus.

    “Trevor is an excellent graduate student who has a keen interest in learning and doing mathematics and also a desire to impart his knowledge on students. He does an outstanding job in the class room teaching service and general education courses to students not always interested in learning mathematics; combined with his numerous service activities it is clear that he understands what being a faculty member is all about.” – Dr. Thomas Riedel





    1. What brought you to the University of Louisville?

    I grew up in Kentucky and wanted to move away for college, but not too far away. Once I graduated from UK, I knew I wanted to continue my education. UofL is the only college in the state that offers a PhD in Applied Math.

    2. Specific areas of research (how you chose this research, why it interested you):

    My research area is Mathematical Social Choice and Consensus. More specifically I work on axiomatically characterizing aggregation functions. Originally, I had planned to do research in Modeling, but after completing an independent study with my advisor Dr. Powers, I chose to continue working with him based on the great relationship we had. I really enjoy doing mathematics with him.

    3. How would you describe your area of study/ specific research to a friend or family member unfamiliar with your field?

    It can be mathematically shown that there is no “fair” or “best” voting rule. Every voting rule has its own virtues and vices. To talk about a rule’s virtues and vices amounts to discussing its defining characteristics; that is what properties characterize it.

    4. What made you go into this field of study?

    It began by developing a great bond with my advisor. Once I began working deeper in the area I began to really enjoy the challenges that it offered.

    5. Awards and Publications:

    I graduated Cum Laude in undergrad. I’m currently working on a publication of my research on characterizing social choice rules on rich ballot spaces.

    6. How do you think this advanced degree will change your role in society?
    I have always had a passion for education as well as mathematics. I hope to find an academic job where I can help prepare future mathematics educators. I love teaching the math ed. courses our department offers and I hope my role in preparing future educators will extend to influence their students.

    7. Long term goals/ aspirations:

    After graduation, I would like to get a tenure-track position at a university so I can settle down and start a family

    8. What do you feel is the greatest challenge that graduate students face and how have you dealt with this challenge?

    The greatest challenge that almost every graduate student faces is balancing school with every aspect of their life; whether that would be social, work, sleep, physical health, mental health, etc.


    Fun Facts
    A talent you have always wanted: To write legibly without effort.
    Favorite book: The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh
    Favorite quote: “Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty.” – Bertrand Russell
    Role Model: Dr. Ryan Luke
    Favorite Vacation Destination: Key West, Florida
    If you weren’t in graduate school, what would you be doing now? Teaching High School Mathematics