UAH math student receives scholarship from prominent alum

Dr. Christian Smart presents Christina Tarsitano an award on behalf of The Greater Alabama Chapter of International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association. (ICEAA)

Any time a college student can get access to scholarship funds is a wonderful achievement, but when the funds are presented by a prominent alumnus, it becomes a special occasion.

This is what happened recently at the University of Alabama in Huntsville when mathematics major Christina Tarsitano was presented with a scholarship by renowned author and UAH alum Dr. Christian Smart.

How Christina Tarsitano earned the scholarship

UAH’s math program has placed multiple students in prestigious positions throughout the country. (Jacob Blankenship / Hville Blast)

The Greater Alabama Chapter of International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association (ICEAA) awarded Tarsitano, Mathematical Sciences major and Finance minor, a scholarship and one-year membership into the local chapter.

ICEAA is a nonprofit organization that strives to promote and enhance the profession of cost estimating and analysis with the primary goal of fostering the professional growth of its members in cost estimating, cost analysis, and allied fields. ICEAA is represented locally by more than 20 chapters nationwide and international affiliates in Australia, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Tarsitano was chosen for this award due to her “dedication to the mathematics and finance academic fields and for her outstanding record of volunteerism in the local community,” according to the announcement by the Greater Alabama ICEAA chapter. 

Tarsitano is also participating in a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates this summer for Solar and Heliospheric Physics working with Center for Space Plasma & Aeronomic Research and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. She will be working with Dr. Amy Winebarger, astrophysicist at NASA MSFC, and Dr. Athiray Panchapakesan, Research Scientist at CSPAR. 

The project involves analyzing the solar observational data obtained from a sounding rocket flight launched in July 2021.

Dr. Smart presents the honor

Dr. Christian Smart also presented UAH with a signed copy of his new book. (Dr. Christian Smart via Facebook)

Smart is one of the more notable alumni from UAH’s math program. He earned his M.A. in mathematics 1994 and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics 1996, both at UAH.

He says that probability and mathematical thinking has benefitted him most through his career.

“We work on a lot of Department of Defense and NASA projects, sometimes that cost billions of dollars, forecasting decades in the future. A lot of certainty and risk goes into that. That’s where mathematics comes in – quantifying that. Cost analysis is crucial.”

Dr. Christian Smart, UAH alumnus

Dr. Smart also presented the Department of Mathematical Sciences with a signed copy of his new book entitled Solving for Project Risk Management: Understanding the Critical Role of Uncertainty in Project Management for their library.

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Michael Seale
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