The College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences wishes to congratulate Tyler Mansfield and Josh Robinson for their distinctions as the winner and runner-up of the 2020 Phi Kappa Phi College Award.
Each year, the BYU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi honor society sponsors scholarships for its top members in each college. In this year’s round of awards, the College of Physical and Mathematical awarded Mansfield 800 dollars and Robinson 400 dollars for their exceptional research experience.
At the time of the award, Mansfield was a senior in Mathematics with an emphasis in Applied and Computational Mathematics with a minor in Biostatistics. Mansfield conducted research for several years during his undergraduate career. For one project, Mansfield analyzed Taylor’s Law, an empirical biological phenomenon, under Dr. Benjamin Webb .
Mansfield also worked on a project using mathematics to support the Client-therapist relationships at Counseling and Psychological Services, under the direction of Dr. David Erekson. He and his team built an algorithm that can recommend specific therapists for a given client using the information provided on intake paperwork to optimize clinic efficiency and client outcomes. that analyzed the relationship between client needs. Mansfield also served as the Chapter President of BYU’s Chapter of Alliance for Mental Illness and was a member of BYU’s competitive math team.
At the time of the award, Robinson was a statistics major with an emphasis in statistical science. He had minors in computer science, mathematics, and Chinese. He has since graduated and started his Master’s degree at BYU in computer science. Robinson worked as a teaching assistant in Advanced Mandarin Chinese and the Introduction to Artificial Intelligence courses. He also served as Vice President of Skill Development in the BYU Data Science Club.
Robinson conducted research throughout his time at BYU. He first worked in his home department of statistics where he used Python and Numpy to facilitate experimentation with an artificially structured variant of the iterative. He later worked in a computer science lab on a deep learning project where he developed a novel algorithm for unsupervised learning of environment action spaces in deep reinforcement learning.
Phi Kappa Phi is a national honor society that aspires to recognize outstanding scholarship in all disciplines and encourage its members to engage in service. Since its establishment in 1951, the BYU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi has organized activities and provided scholarships for its members, who are inducted from the top 10 percent of seniors and top 7.5 percent of juniors in their respective colleges.
The application for the 2021 College Award will close February 16. Current Phi Kappa Phi members will be emailed an invitation to apply for the scholarship along with application instructions and deadlines.