Radcliffe Recognizes Harvard Undergraduate Scholars for Top Theses

Gregory Briker, Gregory Parker, and Daniel Tartakovsky Win Fay Prize
Daniel Tartakovsky, Gregory Briker, Dean Cohen, and Gregory Parker. Photo by Kevin GradyDaniel Tartakovsky, Gregory Briker, Dean Cohen, and Gregory Parker. Photo by Kevin Grady
May 17, 2017

Today, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study honored the Harvard College Hoopes Prize winners and awarded the Captain Jonathan Fay Prize to three graduating seniors for the most exceptional and imaginative undergraduate theses.

The 2017 Fay Prize recipients were chosen from 67 Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize winners for outstanding scholarly work or research.

The winners’ areas of research covered disciplines as diverse as economics, history, mathematics, and physics:

  • Gregory Briker, “The Right to Be Heard: ONE Magazine, Obscenity Law, and the Battle over Homosexual Speech”
    Briker, a historian, examined hard-to-find archival material about ONE Magazine—which began publication in 1952 and was the subject of a landmark US Supreme Court decision—to better understand the development of the homosexual rights movement. During his undergraduate studies, Briker also participated in the Radcliffe Research Partners program and explored new topics with two Radcliffe fellows: the filmmaker Valerie Massadian in 2015–2016 and the nonfiction writer Edward Ball this academic year.
  • Gregory Parker, “Lefschetz Fibrations on 4-Manifolds”
    Parker relied on his joint mathematics and physics concentration to investigate Lefschetz fibrations in order to reduce difficult questions about four-dimensional geometry and topology to more manageable questions about two-dimensional surfaces.
  • Daniel Tartakovsky, “Gender Differences in Reactions to Setbacks: Evidence from High School Debate Competitions”
    Tartakovsky focused his economics work on gender differences in decisions about whether to quit following a debate tournament loss. His research contributes new ideas for designing solutions to gender disparities in the labor market.

“As Harvard’s institute for advanced study, Radcliffe aims to engage Harvard students in many kinds of advanced study, including opportunities to pursue serious research,” said Dean Lizabeth Cohen, also the Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies in the Department of History at Harvard University. “It is, therefore, fitting and exciting for us to award the Fay Prize to these three young scholars, who have produced senior theses of remarkable originality and significance. We are also delighted to celebrate all the Hoopes Prize winners, who have experienced the great value and deep satisfaction that comes with successfully undertaking major research projects of their own.” 

Dean Cohen awarded the Captain Jonathan Fay Prize to Briker, Parker, and Tartakovsky at the Institute’s annual Strawberry Tea, at which a crowd of Harvard faculty members, graduating Hoopes Prize winners, friends, and family gathered to celebrate.

About the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University is dedicated to creating and sharing transformative ideas across the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. The Fellowship Program annually supports the work of 50 leading artists and scholars. Academic Ventures fosters collaborative research projects and sponsors lectures and conferences that engage scholars with the public. The Schlesinger Library documents the lives of American women of the past and present for the future, furthering the Institute’s commitment to women, gender, and society. Learn more about the people and programs of the Radcliffe Institute at www.radcliffe.harvard.edu.

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