Daniela Ali Beckelhymer receives Dr. Sylvia T. Bozeman Predoctoral Fellowship

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (1/22/2024) – School of Mathematics PhD student Daniela Ali Beckelhymer has been recently awarded the Dr. Sylvia T. Bozeman Predoctoral Fellowship from the Mathematically Gifted and Black Foundation. This is the third fellowship Beckelhymer has received since joining the University of Minnesota in 2020.

After completing her undergraduate studies in Computational Mathematics and Psychology at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, Beckelhymer made the decision to pursue her PhD in Applied Mathematics. Since arriving at the University of Minnesota in 2020, her primary focus has been on learning about and advancing mathematical models to predict climate phenomena, aiming for results close to those in projects like CMIP6. Under the guidance of her advisor, Professor Richard McGehee, she is currently focused on predicting the timing of the first ice-free summer in the Arctic Ocean.

“Currently, we are working with the Budyko-Sellers Type Energy Balance Model, incorporating techniques from dynamics. This mathematical framework helps us examine the equilibrium between the solar radiation absorbed by the Earth's surface and the longwave radiation emitted into space. My work is to continue adapting this model to successfully simulate the freezing and melting cycle of Arctic Ocean water, helping identify when it will no longer form sea ice extent, thus leading to an ice-free summer,” Beckelhymer says as she describes her work. “Moreover, my goal is to further develop models that are both sophisticated and accessible to a broader audience. The ultimate objective is to effectively convey to the public and policymakers that our actions are influencing and changing Earth's climate.”

Beckelhymer says she aims to be well-rounded in her personal and professional goals. When she’s not busy facilitating peer mentorship through research and writing groups, Beckelhymer works on refining her approach to teaching. “I aim to enhance my ability to convey mathematical concepts inclusively and captivatingly. This commitment extends to fostering inclusivity, particularly for those historically marginalized in the field,” she says. She also seeks to actively participate in DEIJ initiatives like the Student Chapter of the Math Alliance and Council for the Advancement of Underrepresented Scientists and Engineers. Her overarching goal is to make a positive difference in the world.

“My professional goals revolve around democratizing climate mathematics, seeking to make it both engaging and credible for a diverse audience – from children and teens to key stakeholders in climate action. At the core of my aspirations is the goal to contribute to my field through the initiation and dissemination of original research,” Beckelhymer says. “My journey is driven not only by personal growth, but also by the desire to equip myself with the tools and experiences necessary to contribute meaningfully to the betterment of my communities.”

Over the past three years, Beckelhymer’s dedication has been recognized with the DOVE Fellowship (2020), the Ford Predoctoral Fellowship (2022), and most recently, the Sylvia T. Bozeman Predoctoral Fellowship from the Mathematically Gifted and Black Foundation (2023). She was invited to give colloquium talks at University of Minnesota, Duluth, and the 2024 Joint Mathematics Meeting for the AMS Special Session on The EDGE (Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education) Program. Her most recent award will support her research and conference travel.