What's it like to work on three bachelor’s degrees (mathematics, physics, and industrial and systems engineering) at once?

For Daniel Gurevich, it's a balance of hard work, gratitude, connecting the dots across distant scientific fields, and setting aside time to connect with fellow students—and chess players.

selfie of president cabrera and love award winner

Gurevich, who has already won a raft of academic achievement awards while at Georgia Tech, was a shoo-in for the 2020 Love Scholarship. The Love Family Foundation Scholarship is one of the highest awards Georgia Tech gives to a student each year. The award of $10,000 is given to a graduating senior who has the “most outstanding scholastic record of all members of the class.” Winners are selected by the associate and assistant deans of all six colleges.

A candidate for May 2020 graduation, Gurevich has already published four papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and aspects of his research have been presented at conferences in Germany, Spain, France, Utah, and Colorado.

As if all that isn’t enough to keep an ambitious student busy, Gurevich is also an International Master in chess. He started pitting pawns and bishops against each other at age 5 and won his first national title at age 6. He’s twice conquered the SuperNationals, an all-star-style tournament of the top U.S. players in grades K-12 that’s held every four years. After he won the Georgia State Championship in 2015, he became an International Master.

A cherished memory for Gurevich? Meeting chess legend Garry Kasparov at age 11. “I had made it to the top board of the elementary school championship and Kasparov was making my ceremonial first move,” he remembers. “It was very inspiring to have the chance to talk to my chess idol so early in my chess career, and I ended up winning both of my games the next day and became the national champion.”


Photo: Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov and 11-year-old Daniel Gurevich.

Gurevich, who was nominated by both the College of Sciences and the College of Engineering for the Love Award, is also a 2020 University System of Georgia (USG) Academic Recognition Day Award recipient, National Merit Scholar, and a National AP Scholar. He attended Georgia Tech as a President’s Gold Scholar. During his time at the Institute, he received the Presidential Undergraduate Research Award (PURA), the College of Sciences’ Roger M. Wartell and Stephen E. Brossette Award for Multidisciplinary Studies in Biology, the A. Joyce Nickelson and John C. Sutherland Undergraduate Research Award, the School of Physics’ Letson Undergraduate Research Scholarship, and the Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience’s Petit Undergraduate Research Scholarship.

“Getting this award was wonderful and unexpected news," Gurevich says. “It really means a lot to me to have been selected out of so many outstanding students at Georgia Tech, and I am very honored to have the results of my hard work recognized. I'm grateful for all of the support I have received from the Georgia Tech community, particularly my professors and advisors.”

“We couldn’t be prouder of Daniel for being granted this prestigious award,” said Steve McLaughlin, dean and Southern Company chair of the College of Engineering. “His excellent scholastic record, as well as his involvement in multiple research labs here at Tech is an outstanding accomplishment that sets an exceptional example for all students.”

“Daniel’s accomplishments are an inspiration not only to students, but to all of us in the Georgia Tech community," noted Susan Lozier, College of Sciences Dean and Betsy Middleton and John Clark Sutherland Chair. "I am in awe of the breadth of Daniel's interests, productivity, and generosity. The College of Sciences is extraordinarily proud of Daniel and certainly looking forward to the years ahead as we follow his post-graduation journey.”

"As the recipient over the last two years of both the College of Sciences' Nickelson-Sutherland Undergraduate Research Award and the Wartell-Brossette Award, it is very fitting that Daniel now receive this top institutional honor," added David Collard, College of Sciences Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Gurevich has also tried to pass along his love of chess to younger students. He co-founded Chess Advantage, which provides after-school chess instruction and private coaching in the greater Atlanta area. He also wrote the Q&A column in Chess Life Kids, the publication of the United States Chess Federation (US Chess) for age 12 and under, which has more than 10,000 subscribers.

Gurevich, who is set to graduate in May 2020, will pursue a Ph.D. in applied mathematics in the fall. “My goal is to teach and perform research as a professor, looking for new ways to use mathematical tools to advance our understanding of fields like physics and biology. My education at Georgia Tech has given me the opportunity to acquire a very broad skill set that is extremely valuable for an academic career. I have always appreciated how math helps us find connections between seemingly distant scientific areas.”