The University of Arizona

Alumni Early Career Profiles - Philip Hughes

Name: Philip Hughes
Education: B.S., Mathematics and Chemistry, The University of Arizona, May 2002
Position: Graduate Student
Chemistry Department
Princeton University
Sector: Other science and technology


I am a graduate student at Princeton University seeking my Ph.D. I am in the third year of a five year program. My work involves the modeling of molecular scattering.

My thesis will center on a technique called high dimensional model representation (HDMR). This technique is used to create input-output maps in situations with many (~1000) input variables. Specifically, I am looking to replace the computationally difficult Schrodinger equation with a simpler and still accurate facsimile. This will allow my research group to investigate behavioral trends within quantum mechanical scattering.

I received a B.S. from the University of Arizona in Mathematics and Chemistry in May 2002. My work involves both mathematics, chiefly analysis, and chemistry. All of the work that I do is computational; I do not use any chemicals or glassware. This makes knowledge of computer programming essential as well.

If I met a student in high school or college who was considering a degree in mathematics I would enthusiastically encourage them. I would not be able to do the work I do without my math background. This is true even though I am working towards a chemistry Ph. D. I have frequently heard my colleagues say that they wish they had a more extensive mathematics background. Also, I am often asked math questions. These questions touch on topology, analysis, geometric series, you name it. Mathematics is the language of science and my work makes me realize that every day.

Department of Mathematics, The University of Arizona 617 N. Santa Rita Ave. P.O. Box 210089 Tucson, AZ 85721-0089 USA Voice: (520) 621-6892 Fax: (520) 621-8322 Contact Us © Copyright 2017 Arizona Board of Regents All rights reserved