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For immediate release: March 11, 2003
Contact: Eric Quiñones, (609) 258-5748, quinones@princeton.edu

Editors: Photos are available at: http://www.princeton.edu/pr/pictures/a-f/erickcek/

Erickcek wins Churchill Scholarship for study at Cambridge

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Senior Adrienne Erickcek has been awarded a Churchill Scholarship for graduate work at Churchill College, Cambridge University, next year. She is one of 11 students who received the scholarship, which pays for a year of tuition, fees and living expenses.

Erickcek is an A.B. candidate in the Department of Physics. At Cambridge, she will earn a certificate of advanced study in mathematics (similar to a one-year master's degree) in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.

"A career in theoretical physics requires a firm foundation in mathematics, because mathematics is the language used to describe the universe," Erickcek wrote in her application for the scholarship. "Progress in mathematics often leads to revolutionary new physical theories, and recently physicists have had the opportunity to return the favor, for string theory is pushing forward the frontier of modern mathematics. The classes offered in the (Cambridge) program are perfectly suited for a physics student who wishes to expand her mathematical background."

Erickcek is a graduate of Loy Norrix High School and the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center in Kalamazoo, Mich. She is writing her senior thesis at Princeton on the constraints on dark matter, the invisible and mysterious material believed to make up the majority of the matter in the universe. A poster based on her work as a summer intern at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics was displayed at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in January 2002.

Last fall, Erickcek received the George Wood Legacy Junior Prize, presented each year to a member of the senior class in recognition of exceptional academic achievement during the junior year. She also has received the President's Award for Academic Achievement and the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence from Princeton as well as a Barry Goldwater Scholarship. In addition, she has been recognized for her work in physics as a recipient of the Manfred Pyka Memorial Prize, the Lucent Prize and the Kusaka Memorial Prize.

A flutist in the University Wind Ensemble, Erickcek has tutored students in physics and mathematics through Butler College and at study halls in the Frist Campus Center.

Following her year in England, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics with the hope of becoming a professor.

The Churchill Scholarships, provided by the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States, are given annually to outstanding American students in the physical and natural sciences, engineering, computer science or mathematics.