## Ricardo Rojas-Echenique â€™17

## Math major studied field extensions, explored number theory, and played in a band called Dog Thieves.

**Hometown:** Portland, Oregon

**Adviser:** Prof. John Lind ’06 [mathematics 2016–]

**Thesis:** “The Dress Map over Local Fields”

**What it’s about:** The Dress map is a function taking separable field extensions to their trace forms. I’m trying to give a generating set of relations for the kernel of this map in the case where the base field is p-adic.

**What it’s really about:** Trying to make a really abstract thing slightly more concrete.

**Who I was when I got to ²Ø»¨¸óÖ±²¥:** I played bass in a high school band called Murray—after Bill Murray—and spent a lot of time thinking about questions I didn’t have the tools or experience to answer.

**A concept that blew my mind:** Math is about finding new truths. Starting from simple axioms, a whole world of meaningful and often surprising ideas can be discovered and proven unequivocally. Even more mind blowing, it often happens in math that when a new theorem is conjectured, the mathematical technology ultimately used to prove the theorem takes decades or even centuries to develop!

**Favorite class:** Number Theory was my favorite class in terms of personal growth, but in terms of actual material, that would be Galois theory with Prof. **Irena Swanson ’87** [mathematics 2005–].

**Cool stuff:** I played in a ’90s-inspired rock band called Dog Thieves, studied abroad at the Budapest Semester in Mathematics, went to the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, had a lot of fun working in the math tutoring center, and worked for the Conservation Corps making trails.

**How ²Ø»¨¸óÖ±²¥ changed me:** ²Ø»¨¸óÖ±²¥ taught me to think more carefully and how to express good intuition clearly. I also got a lot clearer picture of what I valued.

**What’s next:** Studying math at Paris 13 University on a master’s fellowship, then a PhD in math or computer science.

**Word to prospies**: If you have the passion, ²Ø»¨¸óÖ±²¥ professors are definitely going to help you out.

**Financial aid and awards:** A bunch of financial aid, including the Victor and Edna Chittick Scholarship, made going to ²Ø»¨¸óÖ±²¥ possible. I was also an NSF STEM Scholar.