Nico Courts
University of Washington
Department of Mathematics
Box 354350
Seattle, WA 98195-4350

Objective

To pursue my passion for mathematics and to understand how to better the world through its proliferation and application.

Research
Interests

I am a student of Julia Pevtsova studying the representation theory of algebraic groups and quantum groups (in the sense of rigid braided monoidal categories).

Education
History

Ph.D in Mathematics University of Washington, Seattle

Spring 2022 (expected)

See this page for a list of my graduate coursework.


Masters of Science in Mathematics University of Washington, Seattle

Exam Topic: Schur Duality and Strict Polynomial Functors (view paper)

Winter 2020


Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Budapest, Hungary

Algebraic Topology, Conjecture & Proof, Cryptography, Differential Geometry.

Autumn 2015


Bachelors of Science in Mathematics University of Southern California

Magna Cum Laude, Dean's list, Departmental Honors

Autumn 2015


Associates of Science in Mathematics Citrus College

Key of Knowledge, Dean's List, Honors Program

Spring 2013

Teaching
History

Graduate Teaching Assistant

University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Autumn 2016 - Present

  • As an instructor:
    • Math 124: Calculus I (Summer 2018)

      I put my own twist on the standard Calc I curriculum by deciding to focus on high-level understanding along with cultivating problem-solving techniques and a mathematical mindset.


      This idea was loosely based on that of the flipped classroom; students were encouraged using quizzes to read the textbook before any material was discussed in class and large portions of contact time with instructors were dedicated to working on challenging problem sets and presenting solutions to the class.


      Technology was used frequently and liberally as a way to both bolster understanding through visual aids and as a means to solicit frequent feedback from students to monitor their understanding and progress.


    • Math 308: Matrix Algebra (Spring 2019)

      My focus during this quarter was on developing the students' ability to solve problems they hadn't seen before. In service of this, we dedicated a third of our contact time to solving problems in small groups with my oversight.


      My initial course structure wasn't adequately meeting the needs of the class (which I determined from soliciting feedback), so after the first midterm we pivoted to having more worked-out examples in class, for which the students were thankful.


      In order to encourage students to investigate how linear algebra was used in the real world, the students were assigned a poster project. Topics included applications of linear algebra in medical imaging, computer graphics, and in the social sciences.


  • As a TA: Participated in several aspects of instruction including demonstration of problem-solving techniques, student evaluation, and the administrative process.
    • Math 112 (Sp 20)
    • Math 120 (Au 17)
    • Math 124 (Wi 17, Wi 19)
    • Math 125 (Au 16, Sp 17)
    • Math 126 (Su 17, Wi 18, Sp 18)
    • Math 327 (Su 19)
    • Math 381 (Au 18)
    • Math 403 (Wi 20)

Lead Teaching Assistant

SCS Noonan Scholars (previously South Central Scholars), Los Angeles, CA

Summer 2016

  • Independently developed and delivered approximately 50 hours of instruction and five exams to gifted university-bound students in calculus 2 and 3.
  • Total of 100 contact hours, including daily supervised worksheet sessions.
  • Took the initiative to deliver weekly lectures in higher mathematics (number theory, knot theory, differential equations, etc.) along with entry-level problems that allowed students to get a sense of the “flavor” of these fields.

Various Positions

Citrus College, Glendora, CA

Spring 2012 - Summer 2013

  • PAGE Program Tutor. Assisted a licensed teacher in the education of a class of middle school children intended to reinforce the previous year’s learning and to prevent “backsliding”. Personally instructed a small group of students who were prepared to learn more advanced topics in intermediate algebra.
  • SIGMA Mentor. Took on a small group of students each semester utilizing a holistic approach to education – supplementing standard tutoring with more in-depth educational guidance and planning.
  • Math Tutor. Instructed students in the fast-paced Math Success Center where I provided homework help in all math classes through linear algebra and differential equations.

Leadership &
Service

Graduate Student Representative

UW Math Department

2019-2020 Academic Year

  • Planned and organized a variety of events and lectures for the graduate students as well as the department at large.
  • Served as an advocate for the graduate students in several capacities.

(Unpaid) Organizer and Mentor

Washington Directed Reading Program

2019-2020 Academic Year

  • Was part of a small group of graduate students responsible for running the WDRP. This program paired undergraduate students with graduate students with the goal of increasing diversity in mathematics and mentoring the next generation of mathematicians.
  • My role largely consisted of looking for funding and reaching out to different groups to encourage the participation of under-represented minorities in math.

Conferences &
Workshops
Attended

Conference on Lie and Jordan Algebras, Their Representations and Applications

January 6-11, 2020

Sichuan University, Chengdu, P. R. China


The Mathematics of Machine Learning

MSRI

July 29 - August 9, 2019

University of Washington, Seattle

(my notes)


Triangulated Categories in Geometry and Representation Theory

June 24-28, 2019

University of Sydney, NSW, Australia

(my notes)


ABC Algebra Workshop

November 10-11, 2018

University of Washington, Seattle

Skills &
Hobbies

Languages known:
  • English This is my native language.
  • German Ich kann ziemlich gut Deutsch sprechen, lesen, und verstehen!
  • Russian Я немного понимаю по-русски.
  • Programming Go, Haskell, Java, LaTeX, Python, Typescript.

Computer Skills: Web/Application Development, Server Administration, Sage, Mathematica, Windows, Linux, FreeBSD.


Life Skills: Critical Thinking, Abstract Reasoning, Communication, Objectivity, Empathy.


Hobbies: Hiking, Jogging, Sailing, Rollerskating, Appreciating the Wonders of the PNW.