May 20, 2005
Vol. 35, Issue 9
Back Issues
Graduates embark on caring, creative courses
Bulloch takes circuitous route
2005 Sullivan Awards
Aunspaugh Fifth-Year fellows in studio art
Whitlow blends photography and writing to create a new form of graphic novel
Phan relies on father's advice: 'Education is the key to survival'
Research trip to China helps student decide between career as scientist or physician

A-School students get big picture through outreach program

McIntosh learns from patients, follows their stories
Taite creates permanent home for Nicaraguan Orphan Fund
McDonald founded U.Va. chapter of Innocence Project that frees the wrongly convicted
Claudia Aguilar is an advocate for Hispanic/Latino students
Welch giving physics new energy through creative teaching methods
Wise grad paving way for siabled students
Education grad Michael Townes puts his newfound faith into action
The Center for Undergraduate Excellence is where students thrive
Numbers make sense to her
Student film documents foot soldiers in Virginia's Civil Rights Movement
Korean-American student shares journey to self-discovery
Few can keep uo with this Jones


Numbers make sense to her

Isabelle Stanton
Isabelle Stanton
Dan Addison

By Matt Kelly

As a child, Isabelle Stanton built computers from parts she found scattered around her house. As a teen, she earned her bachelor’s degree. And on May 22, the 19-year-old will earn her master’s degree in mathematics from U.Va.

”Numbers have always made sense to me,” said Stanton, who lived much of her childhood in Chicago, with her parents, both of whom are computer programmers.

At U.Va., Stanton spent her free time as an announcer on WNRN radio, getting involved in fund-raising for the station and membership on the Music Committee. She also taught a section of Math 121 (applied business calculus for nonscience majors) in the fall and spring of 2004-2005.

Stanton was much younger than her students, and although she did not feel intimidated by this, some of the students did question her age. “At one point my class cornered me and said, ‘We just want to know how old you are,’” she said. “When I wouldn’t tell them, they asked if I was old enough to buy alcohol. When I smiled, they knew I was too young.”
Having spent time in front of a class, Stanton wants to wait before she does it again.

Teaching can be “frustrating,” she said. “It’s wonderful when the students get involved, and you can tell they understand the material and find it interesting. It’s horrible when they sit there glaring at you, and you can tell they’d rather be anywhere but here.”

So what’s next for this bright young woman?

It’s not school, at least not yet.

“There has never been a time when I have not been in school,” said Stanton, who completed high school at age 13 and then attended Mary Baldwin College’s program for the exceptionally gifted, earning a bachelor’s degree there in 2003.

But when she does decide to pursue a Ph.D., she thinks she may change her major from math to computer science or perhaps cryptography. Both are based on mathematics, she said.

Currently, she is “reviewing her career options,” and will remain in Charlottesville while she sorts through offers and looks forward to an end of classes and homework, and to gaining real-world experience.


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