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My Name Is

My name is...Derek Driggs

Gates Cambridge Scholar


About me

I was born in Louisville, but I came to Golden when I was a baby. I’m 21 now. I went to Kyffin Elementary, but attended middle school and high school in Lakewood. I graduated from Lakewood High School in 2013.

Now I attend the University of Colorado in Boulder. I’m studying applied mathematics. I like CU because it’s close to my family, and it’s a big campus with a lot of research opportunities — especially for undergraduates, which is unusual. I also love hiking, and Boulder is a perfect place to do that.

Gates Cambridge Scholar

I’ve always been interested in mathematics, but my high school teacher, Mr. Gabaldon, influenced me to study it in college. I love solving puzzles and the fact that mathematics can provide proof. You can’t really prove anything in other sciences.

I won a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to attend school at the University of Cambridge in England. I was quite surprised to hear that I won the scholarship because it’s very selective — only 36 people in the U.S. won it.

I’ll be earning a PhD in mathematical analysis, and my research will focus on machine learning algorithms. The ultimate goal of my research will be to provide medical practitioners with an artificial intelligence to assist with diagnostics. I’ll be starting school there this October, and I’ll be there for four years.

Golden visits

I’m unbelievably excited to head out to England. I’m most looking forward to experiencing a different culture, both socially and academically.

But I am a little nervous to be so far from home. I’ve spent my whole life in Colorado.

Every break I have, I’ll be coming back to visit. My family still lives in Golden. I like the small-town feel of Golden, and I especially enjoy the small shops downtown. I know a lot of the owners, so it’s fun to stop in and have conversations with the people behind the counters.


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