Student Profile - Chris York

By the end of 10th grade, Chris York of Beaumont had already completed Calculus I, Calculus II and self-taught himself advanced mathematics. His local high school offered no additional math courses. 

Chris YorkGood family friend and former LU professor Joseph Watt recommended York consider Lamar University’s Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities.  Watt taught engineering at Lamar from 1965 to 1996.

York applied to and was accepted into TALH, a residential honors program for gifted and talented Texas high school-aged students who seek to develop their full potential as citizens and who show special interest and aptitude for study in the Humanities.

“The administrators are very supportive,” York said of the Academy’s leadership, “and so are the students.”

York’s mathematical journey began in 4th grade, when he found a book titled “Painless Algebra” at a school book fair. By the 8th grade, he was a regular consumer of well-known online calculus notes posted by LU’s associate professor of mathematics Paul Dawkins.

York’s studies resulted in advanced placement credits for Calculus for Business Application, Pre-Calculus, Calculus & Analytical Geometry I, and Calculus & Analytical Geometry II. 

At the Academy, York continued to excel taking the advance level mathematics course Ordinary Differential Equations at the age of 16.  He achieved a perfect GPA in his first semester, was recognized on the President’s List, and continued to exhibit academic prowess in the spring in both Linear Algebra I and Calculus III.  At the conclusion of the semester his perfect GPA and status on the President’s List were intact.  He is now enrolled in Real Analysis I, a senior level mathematics course.  The 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program also commended York for his scholarship. 

In addition to his course work, York is actively engaged in the learning community of Lamar University.  He competed in April at the 94th Annual Meeting of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America at Texas A&M International University in Laredo as a member of Lamar’s mathematics team, earning 1st place in the calculus bowl.

His peers recognized York’s mathematical prowess and leadership and him elected president of the Lamar University Math Club.  He also serves as a teaching assistant to Valentin Andreev, professor of mathematics at Lamar University, where he helps grade group assignments, attends classes and assists students in learning the material.

York is working on an independent research project titled “Enumerating kth Roots in the Symmetric Inverse Monoid” in response to a paper published in the undergraduate math journal Pi Mu Epsilon published in 2012.  He will present his research at Lamar’s STEM conference, Oct. 4 and at the Texas Undergraduate Math Conference (TUMC) Oct. 17-18 at Stephen F. Austin State University.

He will graduate with a degree in mathematics and a minor in physics. His career goals are to earn a doctorate in pure mathematics and teach at a prestigious university.