FAU High Student Pursuing Combined Bachelor’s to Master’s in Mathematics 


Joining FAU High School his junior year and beginning his coursework at Florida Atlantic in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Kenneth “Alex” Dowling immediately displayed his enthusiasm and exceptional talent for mathematics. As he quickly advanced to graduate-level coursework in his senior year, Alex also began undergraduate research.

Alex’s honors thesis, which he worked under the supervision of Erik Lundberg, Ph.D., studies the topology of random cubical complexes. A joint paper has been submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed research journal - click here to view the preprint. 

His current research with William Kalies, Ph.D., involves the continuation of invariant structures in dynamical systems. He is developing original ideas for studying bifurcation in dynamics using sheaf cohomology. He will graduate from the combined bachelors to master’s program in mathematics this summer, one year after completing high school.

Alex also devotes time to making positive impacts in the department, university, and larger community. He has brought new energy to the Math Club, and he has volunteered as a coach for students at the Henderson School who are taking part in the Academic Games competition.

For his impressive work, Alex is being recognized as one of FAU’s most outstanding students as the College of Science recipient of the 2019-2020 University Scholars award. He plans to enter the Ph.D. program in Mathematics at Rutgers University this Fall 2020. 

The Department of Mathematical Sciences is proud of Alex Dowling and all of his accomplishments!  Congratulations, Alex!



Student Spotlight Q & A

Pursuing a combined bachelor’s (with honors) and master’s degree in mathematics, Alex Dowling plans to graduate in the summer of 2020. Read more about Alex below.


Why did you choose FAU?

I initially was drawn to FAU's University High School program at A.D. Henderson, which allowed me to take college level and even graduate level coursework in high school. I transferred to FAU High in my junior year. After I graduated high school, I stayed at FAU for the excellent research opportunities, accommodations for accelerated coursework, and spectacular faculty

What are your research interests?

My research interests are primarily rooted in topological dynamics, from the perspective of topological data analysis and algebra. I am involved in multiple research projects at FAU. I am working with William Kalies, Ph.D., and Robert Vandervorst, Ph.D., at Vrije University on the paper, Continuation of Lattice Structures in Dynamics, in which we formalize the continuation of order structures in dynamics using methods from sheaf and category theory. William Kalies has advised me on coursework, involved me in multiple research projects, and mentored me academically.  

I am also working on a project with Erik Lundberg, Ph.D., titled Homotopy Types of Random Cubical Complexes, upon which my honors thesis and a submitted paper are based. With my research, I wish to establish an abstract framework for studying topological structures in nonlinear dynamics, which translates to data analysis methods

What clubs or leadership activities are you involved in at FAU?

I was treasurer of the FAU Math Club starting in Fall 2018, and continue to be an active member. I have presented several times at the club. Through the Math Club, I met students like me who were interested in mathematical research. Additionally, the presentations by faculty and other students helped me learn what exactly "math research" entailed.

What do you like best about being at FAU?

The faculty in the FAU Math Department is exceptional research-wise, but are also very accessible. They deeply care about the success of their students. Whenever I'm interested in learning a new math concept or getting involved in research, it's as easy as sending an email to a professor or talking to them after class. I have learned an incredible amount from these one-on-one conversations with professors.

What career are you interested in after you graduate?

After I achieve my master’s, I plan on pursuing a Ph.D. in Mathematics at Rutgers University. From there, I will either complete a postdoc or apply my skills in topological and dynamical data analytics to the industry.