, a Ph.D. candidate in computational and applied mathematics
, is graduating in May. He has been awarded the Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brown University. Fabien will be the first Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown in the mathematical sciences, and the first African-American Prager Assistant Professor in the Division of Applied Mathematics.
His undergraduate years were the most important for helping develop and foster Fabien’s interest in mathematics. During that time he developed a passion for mathematics and its application to understand and solve real-world problems. He is also passionate about improving the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.
“Our nation has attempted to improve the participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM disciplines for at least the past 50 years. However, in the mathematical sciences, there is still a stark discrepancy,” Fabien said. “Focusing on the `bottom of the ladder' (reaching out to middle school, high school, etc.) will only get us so far. We need adequate representation for underrepresented minorities at the `top of the ladder' as well (mentors, leaders, professors).
"Having a significant portion of the population excluded from scientific and technological endeavors can damage the health of our nation.”
Ultimately, Fabien plans to be a professor at a research institution with the aim of producing high-quality, high-impact research that can bridge the gap between theory and practice in a unique environment where research, teaching, and learning are all valued.
His advice for others who might follow in his footsteps is, “Focus, creativity, and patience can help you achieve your goals. In other words, ‘what works is work.’”