Marshall Scholar Goes from Cosmos to Cameroon to Cambridge

During his Yale years, Adam M. Bouland ‘09 has worked on developing new ways to learn about the early universe and has helped bring clean water to a remote Cameroonian village.

After graduation, Bouland will be heading to Cambridge University, where he will study mathematics and physics via a 2009 Marshall Scholarship.

The Yale senior is among the 40 students from around the United States who were selected this year to receive Marshall Scholarships to study in the United Kingdom.

Bouland, who hails from Laurel, Maryland, is a computer science and mathematics major. He will spend two years at Cambridge, studying applied mathematics and theoretical physics during the first year and physics during the second.

At Yale, Bouland has been involved in a number of research projects, including creating techniques for analyzing cosmic microwave background radiation, which is used to learn about the physics of the early universe.

Richard Easther, assistant professor of astronomy and physics, who works with Bouland on this research, was among the faculty members who recommended the Yale senior for the Marshall Scholarship.

“He’s extremely smart and does it without seeming to break a sweat,” Easther said. “He clearly works hard, but he’s very relaxed.”

Bouland is technical director of Yale’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders. As a member of that group, he helped bring clean, spring-fed drinking water to Kikoo, a village in Cameroon where he spent two weeks during the summer of 2007.

“It’s a completely different world,” Bouland said, “and it makes you realize what a privileged life we have at Yale. One of the things it taught me is the importance of community-based development.”

Bouland was one of 10 members of the Yale College Class of 2009 who were inducted to Phi Beta Kappa as juniors. He is a Goldwater Scholar, chaplain of the Conservative Party of the Yale Political Union and a member of the Yale Concert Band.

Named for Secretary of State George C. Marshall, who was Army chief of staff during World War II, the scholarship program began in 1953 as a gesture of gratitude from the British people to the United States for help the United Kingdom received after the war through the Marshall Plan. The scholarships offer talented young Americans a chance to study for up to three years at a British university of their choice. More than 1,500 Americans have been Marshall Scholars. They include Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tom Friedman; Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh; and Nobel laureate biochemist Roger Tsien.

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