University of South Florida pure mathematics and microbiology student Alexander Mercier is the university’s first Rhodes Scholarship finalist. Mercier has his final interview later this month.
Rhodes scholars spend up to three years in graduate studies at the University of Oxford in England as part of the oldest and perhaps most recognized scholarship program in the world.
Working with USF faculty researchers, Mercier studied network sparsification, a method employing mathematics to quickly identify important connections in the spread of disease. The research could help scientists accelerate containment of pandemics such as COVID-19.
Mercier was also named a 2021 Goldwater Scholar.