Student Spotlight: Sarah Cotter, Ph.D. Candidate in Mathematics

Author: Mary Hendriksen

Sarah Cotter is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mathematics, where she has studied model theory for the last four years. She works with VC-minimality, an area of research which has only developed in the last few years.

Sarah Cotter

Her research attempts to take results from o-minimal and C-minimal theories, two widely-studied topics in model theory, and generalize them to a VC-minimal setting. In doing so, her work touches on algebra and combinatorics, among other areas of mathematics. Working with her adviser, Sergei Starchenko, she recently submitted an article containing their first results for publication consideration.

Along with the rest of Notre Dame’s model theory group, Sarah spent the spring of 2009 studying at the Fields Institute in Toronto, Canada, as part of their Thematic Program on o-minimal structures and real analytic geometry. She travels regularly with the Logic group to events throughout the Midwest, and has attended conferences across the United States as well as in Canada and France.

Sarah has worked as a teaching assistant, and has taught undergraduate courses at Notre Dame. In addition to teaching calculus, and working with science and engineering students, she taught a beginning logic course designed specifically for humanities students without extensive mathematical backgrounds. In 2011 she was a recipient of the Kaneb Center’s Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award for Excellence in Teaching.