Amy Chen. A potato patch is an unexpected place for an Applied Mathematics major, but getting a little dirt under her fingernails is exactly what Amy yearns for to find balance in her rigorous academic life. Amy is practically a Colorado native: born in Taiwan, Amy came to the US with her family at a very young age. As most Coloradans, she quickly came to love the outdoors, be it her mother’s garden, an urban farm, or a high mountain pass. She decided to stay in-state to go to college, and came to us while still an undergrad at CU Boulder. We quickly learned that this girl likes to keep busy.

 

At Meadow Lark, we came to rely on Amy’s considerable problem-solving skills—especially problems involving math. Amy could rearrange the refrigerator to make ten hotel pans take the space of five; or figure out the most efficient route to take if you had to pick up Bella, stop by the filling station, retrieve two cases of peaches from Munson Farm, and make it to the Lyons Farmette by 9 AM, all while avoiding the ironman race course closures. And she devised a formula to help us track a balanced work rotation, taking into account two locations (bus/field), two days (Thursday/Saturday), and six possible pairings of four people. Try it—it’s hard!

 

Solving problems aside, Amy’s attention to detail usually led her to foresee one in the making, and she was quick to make a little, but vital, adjustment before anyone else even noticed that our water-holding tank was about to douse the generators, or that the wood-burning grill was this close to rolling down the hill. And Amy developed an especially close relationship with Bella, restoring her to pristine condition after every messy farm dinner day, and making sure that she was squeaky clean, even behind her ears.

 

During our farm dinner season, Amy prepared for—and passed—her actuarial exams (because, why not?). Come August, her senior year kicked into gear, adding classes and homework. And, as a team player and student athlete, Amy was not going to turn her back on Colorado Crew, either. So, she’d rise before dawn to get to practice at the Boulder Reservoir, then bike over to find us, and finish up her school commitments after the rest of us had called it a day. Among all of that, she found time to climb a couple of fourteeners, go swing dancing, and prepare for us her family’s recipe for delicious chive pot stickers. In short, Amy managed to pack in three years worth of work and fun during our three months together. Now that’s some Applied Math.