Bourdon studies geometric objects called elliptic curves.
“Elliptic curves are among the most ubiquitous objects in modern number theory,” said Bourdon, who holds the A.J. Sterge Faculty Fellowship. “They have far-reaching applications, both in theoretical mathematics – such as in the proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem – and in information security where they form the basis of a cryptosystem commonly used to provide secure web browsing.”
A central aim of her project is to broaden participation in the mathematical sciences, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. She plans to develop a training program for graduate students to serve as project leaders for undergraduates enrolled in a research exploration course.