On April 15, the School of Arts and Sciences announced the winners of the David C. Evans Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Scholarship and the Creative Arts at its annual Honors Convocation.

Associate Dean Vincent Wang presented the awards. Dean Kathleen Roberts Skerrett, University Professor David Leary, and Victoria Charles, ’16, made remarks at the event.

Vivian Barnes, ’16, was awarded the David Evans Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Creative Arts. Barnes is a theatre major from Stafford, Va and is an Oldham and Oliver Hill Scholar. Barnes has appeared on stage in numerous Department of Theatre and Dance productions, demonstrating range and a commitment to research and preparation for each diverse role. In addition to her acting, she has designed sound, explored dramaturgy, and developed her talents as a playwright. Later this month, she will present ladylike (or, whatever), an evening of five short plays on female friendship that she wrote and is directing.

In nominating her for the Evans Award, her advisor Dr. Walter Schoen wrote, “Vivian is one of a small handful of students with the special ability to enhance the work of others with her own inspiration and scholarly work. She is committed to exploring the breadth of the liberal arts curriculum at Richmond as a means of enriching her work as a theatre artist.”

Haonan Liu, ’16, and Uthaipon Tantiponpipat, ’16, were presented with the David Evans Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Scholarship.

Haonan Liu is a double major in physics and mathematics from Datong, China and is a Robins Science Scholar.  Liu’s research has focused on the design and optimization of telescopes to measure the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. He and his research mentor Dr. Ted Bunn published their results in Physical Review D, one of the leading journals in astrophysics and cosmology, and Liu also presented it at the national meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Liu was one of 12 finalists for China’s inaugural Rhodes Scholarship competition and will pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado in theoretical quantum optics.

In recommending him for the Evans Award, Bunn stated, “Haonan’s work is ridiculously advanced for an undergraduate. He developed quickly to become a true collaborator on our project; he has contributed in a highly substantial and creative way.”

Uthaipon Tantipongpipat is a mathematics major from Bangkok, Thailand and is a Robins Science Scholar. He has conducted research on bent functions with Dr. James Davis, and had a solo-authored paper published in The Electronic Journal of Combinatorics, a rare feat for an undergraduate and one he accomplished as a first-year student. His performance on the Putnam Exam, a national mathematics competition known for being incredibly challenging, placed him in the top 75 of the 4,275 students taking the exam this year.

In Dr. Davis’ nomination letter for the Evans Award, he stated, “Tao was the driving force behind major progress that my team made in constructing bent functions. He sees the big picture well, he can work with complicated computations, and he is able to bring theoretical results from other areas of math. He is the best researcher I have seen at this stage of his career.”

The David C. Evans Awards are named for former history professor and associate dean of Arts and Sciences David Evans, whose contributions to the University included expanding opportunities and supporting independent scholarship and creative activity.