Huixi Li of the department of mathematical scientists has received the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award

Huixi Li of the department of mathematical sciences received the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award.
Image Credit: Pete Martin / College of Science

CLEMSON – Two standout graduate students from the College of Science will be presented university-wide awards at the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony on May 10.

Clemson University’s Graduate School has awarded the Outstanding Graduate Researcher Award (GRA) to Yunhui Peng of the department of physics and astronomy. Huixi Li of the department of mathematical sciences has received the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award (GTA).

Peng joined Clemson in 2013 after getting his B.S. from Xi’an Jiaotong University in China. He has become an accomplished computational biophysicist in Emil Alexov’s lab and is an expert in protein-DNA interactions. Alexov describes Peng as the best Ph.D. student he has had since Alexov came to Clemson in 2005.

“Before I came to Clemson, I knew very little information about here,” said Peng, who also has been recognized as Outstanding Graduate in Discovery by the College of Science. “It is about 6,000 miles from Clemson to Ankang, China, the place where I was born. So I was a little bit worried before I came here. But eventually it turned out to be a very wise and correct decision for me. I joined a very distinguished lab, worked with many great researchers and made many, many lifelong friends in Clemson.”

Yunhui Peng of the department of physics and astronomy received the Outstanding Graduate Researcher Award.

Yunhui Peng (left) of the department of physics and astronomy received the Outstanding Graduate Researcher Award.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy of Yunhui Peng

Li joined Clemson in 2013 after getting both his B.S. and his M.S. from the University of Science and Technology in China. He received advanced teaching experience in Kevin James’ MATH 4120 class as part of a research-training-group grant in coding theory, cryptography and number theory. He then taught his own section of Calculus I. He also advised undergraduate students this past summer as part of National Science Foundation-sponsored research in mathematical science, where he not only communicated the ideas but also suggested new strategies for attacking problems.

Li is also the 2018 recipient of the Drennon/Gabet Award, funded by the Drennon/Gabet Endowed Memorial Fund for Mathematical Science.

“I chose to attend Clemson for two reasons,” said Li, who also has been recognized as Outstanding Graduate in Learning by the College of Science. “The first reason is, we have an excellent number theory group. The faculty members are very strong number theorists. Their research areas include both analytic number theory and algebraic number theory. The second reason is, I read online that the happiness index for Clemson students is pretty high. Since happiness is what I’m always pursuing, that’s why I chose to attend Clemson.”

Each of Clemson’s seven colleges was able to nominate two students per award. There were only four total winners. The other two were Markus Miller (GTA) of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences and Maxime Cavillon (GRA) of the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences.