Regeneron Recipient: Joshua Guo

by Emma Zhang, Features Editor
photo contributed by Joshua Guo, graphics by Julie Wang
Emma Zhang: You were named one of the 300 scholars in the Regeneron contest. What was your research about?

Joshua Guo: The research I did most recently was about the Gauss-Epple homomorphism. The Gauss-Epple homomorphisms are a large family of mathematical objects. Each of these objects is a group homomorphism. They convert the elements of one mathematical group to elements of another group while preserving the group-theoretic structure. It’s an algorithm where you put in a blade, which is a bunch of strings that tangle around each other from top to bottom. Then you get a series of complex numbers, and I showed that this object has nice mathematical properties. 

EZ: What was the Regeneron contest like?

JG: It’s this giant form which looks extremely similar to a college application. I filled that out and waited a little, and I was sent a letter of recognition. I got invited to a virtual event called the “Regeneron STS Scholar Gathering”. There, I attended some remarks by Maya Ajmera, who is the CEO of the Society for Science, and George Yancopoulos, who is the Cofounder and Chief Scientific Officer of the Regeneron company. After that, we went into breakout rooms and spoke about who we were as people and what our projects were about. 

EZ: Why do you enjoy math?

JG: I like how math is unambiguous. Like the fact that when you have a question like one plus one, the answer is always two. I also think I really like to think about things from a logical, analytical point of view. 

EZ: Do you plan to pursue math in the future?

JG: I am not going to be just a mathematician. One thing I know about the world of math is that the demand for people who just are familiar with math is very small, but the demand for people who can combine the understanding of math with other subjects is very high. In particular, computer science is both an exciting field and a field that is very related to math. So speculatively, I think that I am likely to do something related to math and computer science.