November 17, 2021
Carina Letong Hong from Guangzhou, China, is a winner of the Rhodes Scholarship (China Constituency). As a Rhodes Scholar, she will pursue graduate studies in mathematics at Oxford University. At MIT, Hong is a junior double-majoring in mathematics and physics. She hopes to become an academic and devote her life to solving conjectures and building communities.
Hong has taken over 20 graduate courses, and plans to graduate in the spring of 2022 after three years at MIT. She has worked with professors Pavel Etingof and Scott Sheffield on reading courses and research projects in the Department of Mathematics.
Hong has conducted research through two National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates programs, at the University of Minnesota at Duluth and the University of Virginia, leading to several papers published or accepted in peer-reviewed journals such as Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society, the Ramanujan Journal, and Research in Number Theory. In addition, she has participated in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) Women and Mathematics program.
Hong was recently named the winner of the 2022 Alice T. Schaefer Mathematics Prize by the Association for Women in Mathematics. She is a recipient of the MIT Convocations Emerging Leader Award and the MIT mathematics department’s Community Building award, and is a three-time USA Mathematical Olympiad qualifier. Hong has presented papers at the Satellite event of the 8th European Congress of Mathematics, the 29th Workshop on Cycles and Colorings, the Young Mathematicians Conference, and the Mathematical Association of America MathFest where she received an Outstanding Paper Award.
Hong serves as president of the MIT Undergraduate Math Association and holds executive roles with MIT’s Society of Physics Students, the International Students Association, and the First-Generation and/or Low-Income (FLI) student coalition. She is also involved with dance and cheerleading.
The Rhodes Scholar program offers competitive scholarships for exceptional students in over 22 international constituencies. Winners of the U.S. Rhodes competition will be announced on Nov. 20.