Hadassah Karp ’19 and Ella Koscher ’19 have been awarded the annual Carl B. Boyer Memorial Prize in the History of Science. The prize is given annually to an undergraduate at Columbia University for the best essay on any topic in the history of science or mathematics, as judged by a faculty committee.
In her essay, Karp, a history major, argues that logician, psychologist, and mathematician Christine Ladd-Franklin served as a model for interdisciplinarianism in her uniquely varied perspective on science and math. Karp sees this interdisciplinary approach as reflecting back on her time at Barnard, where she has been able to take a wide range of courses and apply new information across disciplines. “It’s been an opportunity to consider deeply the ways in which we approach the world,” Karp said. “Math and science, these huge topics that often seem so fixed and absolute, are worth deconstructing to think about how we create systems and truth.” After graduation, Karp will attend law school in New York City.
Koscher is a history major with a concentration in science, technology, and environment. For the prize, she submitted her senior thesis, which investigates the causes of the Dust Bowl and how the forces that led to this ecological and humanitarian disaster persist today. “Winning this award has affirmed for me that I need to continue the work I started with this thesis,” Koscher said. “I know that in one capacity or another, I will continue to study and write about these forces and how they contribute to the ecological crisis we face today.”