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The beat goes on for scholarship winner

If Gregory Stoddard had a theme song to describe the last year, it might be Sam Cooke’s Wonderful World. But this scholar/musician knows a lot about biology and a science book.

Stoddard’s wondrous summer of 2008 was the result of receiving the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. The scholarship, established in 1986, honors students who intend to enter math, science and engineering fields. Stoddard, a 20-year-old senior from Baldwin, is the sixth Binghamton University student in the past 10 years to receive the scholarship.

“I was ecstatic,” Stoddard said. “It was the first real-world proof that some of my efforts are paying off.”

Stoddard points to the human genome project and the protein folding problem as mainstream examples of how he would like to solve scientific problems through the use of algorithms and mathematics in the future.

“I love the research life. I love the field,” said the double major in computer science and mathematics, who has taken part in the national Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program on campus.

Janice McDonald, director of the Office of External Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards, praised Stoddard’s abilities and his Goldwater application. “He did a wonderful job describing his research and what he wants to do in the future,” she said. “He is incredibly articulate and his written word is amazing.”

When not researching in the world of science, Stoddard is studying rock ’n’ roll and bass players: He’s part of a five-piece rock band called The Quota that plays covers and originals across campus.

Stoddard has yet to combine his love of algorithms and music, although he said friends have joked about him incorporating some science into an onstage rap song. That’s not to say The Quota isn’t fun: Stoddard says the group enjoys dancing around, doing “air splits” and interacting with the crowd.

“If we’re having fun,” he said, “at least one audience member will be having fun.”
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Last Updated: 12/1/09