Student Researcher Award
Elijah Counterman has been rewarded for his excellence in research by winning the College of Science University Student Researchers Award.
“This is a great honor for me and comes with significant recognition for my mentor’s work and the work I’ve been fortunate to do with him,” said Counterman. “I feel extremely grateful to receive such an award!”
Under the guidance of Sean Lawley, Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Counterman has been working on answers to some fundamental questions in the area of pharmacokinetics, the branch of pharmacology concerned with the movement of drugs within the body. Counterman has focused on the following question: if a patient misses a dose of medication, and they realize it the following day, should they take one pill or two to compensate for the missed dose?
“The mathematical models are interesting because of their direct implication to medicine and the health and well-being of a patient,”
“These models use random variables to mimic the unpredictability and forgetfulness of human beings.” said Counterman. The models Counterman used were developed from some of the work of renowned Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős and others in the 1930s.
“I’m interested in the research because I plan to graduate from the U next spring and attend medical school in the fall of 2023,” said Counterman. “Questions such as these—where math and medicine/biology overlap—are extremely applicable and interesting. I want to make an impact in the math world as a physician researcher. Mathematics seems to be one of the least utilized, yet potentially revolutionary fields, in the developing world of medical research.”
Counterman says he has always enjoyed studying math. He excelled in the subject in middle school, which allowed him to take undergraduate math classes at the U as a sophomore in high school. By the time he graduated from Highland High School in Salt Lake City, he was more than halfway through the coursework needed to obtain a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. “I love math because of its magnificently wide range of applications as well as its ability to answer fundamental questions,” he said.
Counterman has praise for the Math Department, noting that the professors are supportive, approachable, and easy to talk to. He has enjoyed the relatively small class size and the different teaching styles. He is impressed with the department’s research opportunities, teaching excellence, and reputation of the faculty.
Counterman’s entire college experience at the U has occurred during the pandemic. He has found online classes difficult because he thrives on interpersonal and face-to-face instruction.
Outside of math, Counterman makes the time to play violin and guitar. He enjoys running, hiking, skiing, and occasionally writing poetry. He is very involved with his local faith organization and in serving the community through those efforts.
Counterman’s awards from the U and at Highland High School
- College of Science University Student Researchers Award: spring 2022
- Calvin Wilcox Memorial Scholarship fall 2022 - spring 2023
- Dean’s List: fall 2021
- Mathematics Departmental Scholarship: fall 2021 - spring 2022
- Dean’s List: spring 2021
- Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program participant: spring 2021
- Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program participant: fall 2020
- Dean’s List: fall 2020
- Mathematics Departmental Scholarship: fall 2020 - spring 2021
- College of Science Freshman Scholarship in Science and Mathematics: fall 2020 - spring 2021
- Utah Flagship Scholarship: fall 2020 - spring 2024
- Mathematics Sterling Scholar: spring 2020
- Valedictorian: spring 2020 Highland High School
- High School University Program Participant: fall 2017 - spring 2020
- National Honors Society: fall 2018 - spring 2019
- Academic All State (Cross Country 2019)