Aquia Richburg


IMG 1421Research Area: Curriculum Learning and Machine Translation
Undergraduate Institution: Morehouse College
Hometown: Greenville, SC

 Why did you choose to come to AMSC?
The AMSC program gave me options to explore my curiosity in mathematics.  When I first came to UMD as a first year student, I didn't exactly know what I wanted to work on.  The AMSC program afforded me the opportunity to learn about different topics from operations research to mathematical logic.

What are your research interests and why? How did you discover this interest?
I'm excited about the intersection between mathematics and language.  I have been fascinated with foreign languages since childhood. Besides English, I am conversational in Spanish, German and Mandarin Chinese.  I hope to learn many more and get the opportunity to travel and use them. Machine translation is the perfect avenue to bring my problem solving skills to connect people through multilingual and multicultural communication.

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What do you like to do in your free time?

My two biggest hobbies are distance running and music.  I am currently taking voice lessons, and I know how to play a little guitar and ukulele.  In the past few years since being at UMD, I have started long-distance running. Just recently I ran my first half-marathon.  I'm looking forward to traveling the country or possibly the world for different races. 

What are your favorite parts of the greater Washington DC area?
I don't particularly have a favorite place in DC but there is a spot in Georgetown that I have fond memories of.  There is a vegetarian restaurant called Harmony Cafe that I've visited a few times with my girlfriend. She thinks they have the best fried rice she's ever had.  Plus not far from here is a cupcake shop where I get a free vegan cupcake once a year during my birthday.

What advice would you give to incoming students?
Don't approach a graduate program as a lone wolf.  Sure, it's possible to go it alone but why put on all that burden yourself.  Reach out to other students, faculty, staff, counselors, etc. It's not a weakness to ask for help.  There are others who are probably wrestling with the same challenges as you. And don't worry about how others are doing in comparison to you.  Run your race, and as long as you're happy and healthy you'll get your degree.

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