University of Richmond juniors Rebecca Funke and Scott Yeudall were both awarded a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the country’s premier undergraduate scholarship in mathematics, science and engineering.

The Goldwater scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of more than 1,200 students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. This year, 260 scholarships were awarded.

Funke, a math and computer science major from Perrysburg, Ohio, is researching a mathematical function that has applications to error correcting coding theory (the mathematics of cleaning up electronic communication) and cryptography under the mentorship of Jim Davis.

“The goal of my research is to make sure that when you are communicating via electronic means that the end receiver always get the initial message no matter what interferences may occur during transmission,” said Funke, who is currently studying abroad in Budapest.

Yeudall, who is from Richmond and attended Maggie Walker Governor’s School, majors in chemistry and in biochemistry and molecular biology. His research under the guidance of John Gupton focuses on organic synthesis. Specifically, his research team is working to synthesize new compounds that could be anti-tumor agents to treat cancer.

“It feels great to have my work recognized outside of the University of Richmond,” Yeudall said. “It shows that the work I am doing is important.”

Since 2004, University of Richmond has had 21 Goldwater Scholars, including Funke and Yeudall.

Danielle Confair of Williamsport, Pa., a junior at University of Richmond studying chemistry, received an honorable mention.

Congress established the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and excellence in Education Foundation in 1986 to foster and encourage excellence in science and mathematics. Honoring the late Arizona senator, the scholarships encourage American undergraduate students with excellent academic records and outstanding potential to pursue careers in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. The foundation has awarded more than 7,400 scholarships worth about $48 million.