PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University senior Christian Ketelsen was named the first Outstanding Undergraduate Research Scholar for 2003 by the College of Sciences.
Ketelsen, a 1999 graduate of Battleground High School, is a WSU Honors College student. He will receive bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and mathematics in May.
Last summer, Ketelsen worked on an applied mathematics research project with V.S. Manoranjan, professor of mathematics and associate dean of sciences, in a Department of Mathematics internship program. His research concerned creating mathematical models to understand the effect of light intensity on sleep patterns, and is still underway.
“Last spring Christian took a course in dynamical systems from me and was the top student in the class,” said Manoranjan. “Although he had never before been exposed to applied mathematics, he clearly enjoyed learning about these systems and their application to real-life phenomena. His enthusiasm for applied mathematics led him to work with me on this important research. Already he has some concrete results that can lead to a journal publication.”
Ketelsen recently competed with a team in an International Mathematical Modeling Contest. Ketelsen and his team developed a model to determine the number of baggage screening systems needed by airports of various sizes to maintain high security without unnecessary inconvenience to passengers.
Among his honors are the 2003 Potter Memorial Scholarship, the full-tuition 2002-2003 Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship and the J. Russell and Mildred H. Vatnsdal Junior Mathematics Scholarship.
In addition to completing two degrees and numerous research projects, Ketelsen served as a teaching assistant and tutor in the mathematics department and supervisor of the climbing wall in the Outdoor Recreation Center.
Four Outstanding Undergraduate Research Scholars are selected each year; they receive $250 book awards. The OUR Award recognizes the scholars for their research achievements and their faculty mentors.
He is the son of Patty and Mark Ketelsen of Battleground.