Last updated in . Get the latest version at

John D. Cobb

PhD Student at University of Wisconsin-Madison johndcobb



University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ph.D. in Mathematics

Madison, WI


Honors College of Charleston
B.S. Mathematics | B.A. Chemistry | Minor Data Science

Charleston, SC

Thesis: “Quaternion-Valued KdV Solutions”. Advised by Alex Kasman.
Awarded over 5 departmental scholarships over the first three years.
Goldwater Scholar in 2017 for research in modeling the morphology of semiconducting polymers.
NDSEG Fellowship in 2019 for research on spectral graph theory and ranking algorithms.

Honors & Awards


NDSEG Fellowship

Air Force Office of Scientific Research

The National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship is a highly competitive, portable fellowship that is awarded to ~120 U.S. citizens and nationals who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in one of fifteen supported disciplines annually. NDSEG confers high honors upon its recipients, and allows them to attend whichever U.S. institution they choose. The NDSEG Fellowship lasts for 3 years and pays for full tuition and all mandatory fees; a monthly stipend ($38,400 annually); a $5,000 travel budget over the Fellow’s tenure for professional development; and up to $1,200 a year in health insurance.


Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship

Phi Kappa Phi

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi awarded fifty Fellowships of $8,500 each to members entering the first year of graduate or professional study. Each active Phi Kappa Phi chapter may select one candidate from among its local applicants to compete for the Society-wide awards.


Ewa Wojcicka Mathematics Award

Mathematics Department, College of Charleston

The Ewa Wojcicka Award is the College of Charlestons math departments top award, given in memory of Professor Wojcicka to a recipient showing exceptional ability, creativity and potential in mathematics.


ACS Outstanding Student in Computational Chemistry

American Chemical Society

The local ACS chapter of the chemistry department of the College of Charleston chooses one graduating senior.


Alternate Candidate


I was the follow up candidate for the Fulbright to work at the Aflréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics in Budapest.


Outstanding Poster

MAA-JMM Undergraduate Poster Session

Outstanding Poster prize were given to the top 15% student presenters in each topical category of mathematical study at the 2019 Joint Mathematical Meetings in Baltimore.


Honorable Mention

COMAP Mathematical Modeling Competition

Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) is an international contest for high school students and college undergraduates. It challenges teams of students to clarify, analyze, and propose solutions to open-ended problems. The contest attracts diverse students and faculty advisors from over 900 institutions around the world.


Scott Ward Award for Excellence in Mathematical Studies

Mathematics Department, College of Charleston

Given to one student annually by the College of Charleston mathematics department.


Brewer Scholarship

Chemistry Department, College of Charleston

The scholarship recipient is selected by the Faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry from among the junior and senior chemistry majors who are South Carolina residents and have demonstrated ability in chemistry, are of honorable character, and show promise for future excellence.


Horatio Hughes Scholarship in Mathematics

Mathematics Department, College of Charleston

This scholarship, given in memory of Dr. Horatio Hughes, class of 1905 and distinguished professor of chemistry and physics at the College of Charleston, is awarded to math majors chosen each spring semester by the Department of Mathematics


Gadsden Scholarship

Mathematics Department, College of Charleston

This scholarship was given in memory of Dr. Richard Gadsden by his family and is given to a rising senior in the mathematics department.


Goldwater Scholarship

Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation

The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields. The Goldwater Scholars were selected based on academic merit from a field of 1,286 natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering students nominated by the campus representatives from among 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide. Trustees awarded 240 scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year to undergraduate sophomores and juniors from the United States.


Top 10%, Virginia Tech Regional Mathematics Contest

Mathematics Department, Virginia Tech

95 schools from 30 states took part in the 39th contest and there were 739 participants.


ATD Scholarship in Mathematics

Honors College of Charleston

This merit scholarship is intended to recruit outstanding students to the Honors College who are interested in studying math or computer science.


Palmetto Fellows

South Carolina Commission on Higher Education

The Palmetto Fellows Scholarship recognizes the most academically talented high school seniors and provides 4 years of funding.

Publications [Interactive Version]



Syzygies and Koszul Cohomology

UW Madison Graduate Algebraic Geometry Seminar, Madison, WI

Rooms on a Sphere

UW Madison AMS Student Chapter Seminar, Madison, WI

Algebraic Geometry Beer Label

Delta Beer Lab, Madison, WI

Introduction to Boij-Söderberg Theory

UW Madison Graduate Algebraic Geometry Seminar, Madison, WI

Breather Soliton Interactions for the Quaternionic KdV Equation

AMS Contributed Paper Session on Partial Differential Equations, I, Baltimore, MD

Quaternion-Valued Solutions to the KdV

JMM Undergraduate Poster Session, Baltimore, MD
College of Charleston Mathematics Colloquium, Charleston, SC

Investigating Rankability Using Distributed Graph Analytic Frameworks

College of Charleston Celebration of Scholars, Charleston, SC
Tresata, Charlotte, NC

Growth of P3HT-PCBM Nanostructures at Solvent-Solvent Interfaces

College of Charleston Celebration of Scholars, Charleston, SC

Solvent-Induced Assembly of P3HT: Controlling Organic Photovoltaic Film Morphology

College of Charleston Celebration of Scholars, Charleston, SC

Affine Transformations and Fractal Images

Data Science Club, Charleston, SC

Singular Value Decomposition and Digital Image Processing

Data Science Club, Charleston, SC

Investigating the Stability of P3HT Solutions Using Light Scattering and Zeta-Potential Measurements

ACS Southeast Regional Meeting, Columbia, SC

Concentration Dependence of the Self-Assembly of Poly(3-hexylthiophene)

CofC Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Colloquium, Charleston, SC

Research Experience

Student Researcher at College of Charleston

Mar 2018–May 2019

Conduct research of noncommutative soliton solutions to the nonabelian n-KdV hierarchy and KP hierarchy focusing on quaternion-valued solutions to the KdV equation.

Charleston, SC

Mentor: Alex Kasman

Summer Data Analyst at Tresata

Jul 2017–Aug 2017

Invited by Chief Analyst Dr. Tim Chartier to represent IGARDS and design efficiently stored graph theory algorithms for the rankability project. Involved rewriting prospective rankability measures to fit the memory partitioning schemes of computer clusters, with the ultimate goal of speeding up the computation of large ranking problems.

Charlotte, NC

Mentor: Tim Chartier

Student Researcher at Institute on Graph Analytics and Research in Data Science

Dec 2016–May 2019

Worked with a team dedicated to pursuing fundamental problems in data science. Designed algorithms to calculate suspected indicators of how ”rankable” a dataset is by virtue of its spectral properties. Created scalable approximative solutions that work across distributed systems. Invited by Dr. Tim Chartier of Davidson College to present at Tresata, a big data predictive analytics company based in Charlotte.

Charleston, SC

Mentors: Paul Anderson, Amy Langville

Student Researcher & Mentor at College of Charleston

Sep 2015–Aug 2017

Conduct research that focuses on: solubility parameter theory, polymer assembly in the liquid phase, morphology of polymer films, synthesis of polymer-nanopartical composites using in-situ methods for the design of organic optoelectronics. Participant in HHMI Grant supporting my work as a mentor.

Charleston, SC

Mentor: David Boucher

Teaching Experience

MATH 229: Vector Calculus with Chemical Applications

Fall 2017
Spring 2018
Fall 2018
Spring 2019
Teaching Assistant. Presented new content and held problem sessions. College of Charleston

MATH 295: Introduction to Advanced Mathematics

Spring 2019
Grader. Graded homework assignments and tests for this introductory proof class. College of Charleston

MATH 221: Calculus and Analytic Geometry I

Fall 2020
Fall 2021
Teaching Assistant. Hold weekly problem solving sessions. University of Wisconsin-Madison

Service & Organization

Organizer at UW Madison Graduate Algebraic Geometry Seminar

Fall 2021 –

The purpose of this seminar is to learn algebraic geometry and commutative algebra by giving and listening to talks in a informal setting.

Madison, WI

Public Service Fellow at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jan 2021–Jan 2022

The 2021 cohort had 3 people in the social entrepreneurship pathway. Over the course of a year, fellows engage in a practicum working directly with a community partner on a chosen project focused on issues of public concern.

Madison, WI

Mentor at First Generation Student Success

Fall 2020–Spring 2021

FGSS is a student organization dedicated to helping students locate resources, connect with peers and faculty, and support them along their college journey. FGSS links first-generation college students to first generation graduate and faculty mentors for monthly meetings.

Madison, WI

Geometry of Schemes Reading Group at UW Madison

Summer 2020

Organizer, Book: Geometry of Schemes by Eisenbud and Harris.

Madison, WI

Organizer at UW Madison Directed Reading Program

Fall 2019–

The DRP is a math mentoring program that pairs undergraduate students with graduate student mentors, for a semester-long independent study project. The goal of this program is to get students excited about mathematics by giving them an out-of-the-classroom experience, usually in topics that are outside of their coursework.

Madison, WI

Volunteer at AMS Fall Central Sectional

Sep 2019

Signed in attendees to the 3-day AMS Fall central sectional meeting.

Madison, WI

Student Ambassador at College of Charleston School of Sciences and Mathematics

Sep 2018–May 2019

Select group of 9 students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and exemplar student leadership. Represent the School of Sciences and Mathematics at College of Charleston to incoming students and other interest groups

Charleston, SC

Student Vice President & Webmaster at Phi Kappa Phi

Apr 2017–May 2019

Met with board to coordinate volunteer opportunities and promote education throughout the College of Charleston campus. Helped organize events on campus for Phi Kappa Phi members. Managed the College of Charleston Chapter Phi Kappa Phi Website.

Charleston, SC

Volunteer at AMS Spring Southeastern Sectional Meeting

Mar 2017

Signed in attendees to the 3-day AMS Spring southeastern sectional meeting.

Charleston, SC

Volunteer at College of Charleston Math Meet


Volunteered to oversee various parts of the planned activities including judging timed sprints and signing students in.

Charleston, SC

Volunteer Tutor at Trident Literacy Association

Oct 2015–Oct 2016

Trident literacy is a nonprofit organization that seeks to reverse the cycle of generational poverty and illiteracy. Helped weekly to prepare nontraditional students for their GED. Primarily taught topics from arithmetic, algebra, and precalculus.

Charleston, SC

Cofounder & Board Member at The Cancer Chase

Feb 2015–Oct 2017

Helped direct the founding of The Cancer Chase, whose first project began an annual 5k run benefiting Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Cancer Institute. Rallied support from local businesses to raise over $15,000 annually.

Fort Mill, SC


Startup Competition at CS NEST

Sep 2020–Apr 2021

CS NEST is a program and competition hosted by nationally ranked startup accelerator gener8tor. They provide support to a team and myself to work on the development of arxiva, a free community resource for making research on arxiv more accessible. Arxiva won the 2021 Transcend UW startup competition for early stage projects.

Student Leader at College of Charleston Higdon Leadership Cohort

Sep 2018–May 2019

50 Applicants are selected through an application and group interview process. Engaged in networking and participate in discussion and activities including local businesses, government figures, and service organizations.

President and Founder at College of Charleston Chess Club

Aug 2017–May 2019

Organizing local tournaments and promoting chess in the CofC community.