The Fulbright Effect
GARDENS IN SPAIN
A Spanish major and environmental studies minor at Bryn Mawr, Mary Biggs ’15 has devoted a lot of thought to the intersection of place, identity, language, and culture.
In September, Biggs will be pursuing these interests on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Madrid that will give her time to pursue a personal research project on urban gardens.
“I’m excited to experience urban gardening in Spanish culture,” says Biggs, “and eager, too, to think deeply about cultural narratives and community initiatives that grow up around the intersections of the built and natural, wild and cultivated.”
During her junior year at Bryn Mawr, Biggs studied abroad in Barcelona. “My experience living in a culture unlike the culture in which I was raised opened my eyes to the possibilities of personal and professional growth inherent in learning to move in multiple spaces, to speak different languages,” she says.
After graduating, Biggs moved to Washington, D.C., where she has been working with City Blossoms, an urban gardening non-profit, and the U.S. Forest Service.
“At Bryn Mawr, I was interested in objects called class groups and elliptic curves,” says Jaclyn Lang ’09, M.A. ’09. “In graduate school, my interests shifted to objects called Galois representations. However, all of these ideas are quite closely tied together.”
This year, Langis deepening her research, now focusing on Galois representations in p-adic families, as she studies at the Université Paris 13 on a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant in mathematics.
“I knew that I wanted to spend some time in France after finishing my Ph.D. because there is a mathematician in Paris—Jacques Tilouine—whose work is very interesting to me and related to my dissertation,” she says.
At Bryn Mawr, Lang was a student in the combined A.B./M.A. program in mathematics. Her thesis is focused on the area of algebraic number theory, as is the research that she will conduct in France.
In the year after graduating Bryn Mawr, she studied mathematics at Cambridge University on a Churchill Fellowship and then entered UCLA’s Ph.D. program in mathematics. “At this point, I am interested in pursuing a career as an academic mathematician,” she says.