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Aidan Fielding

Stamps 1693 Scholar



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Alexandria, VA (Gonzaga College High School)

Why William & Mary

Throughout my life, William & Mary has always held special significance. Both of my parents are alumni of the college. As a result, I know the campus very well and have had a taste of what it would be like as a William & Mary student.

William & Mary is in-between a massive research university and a small liberal arts college. While this fact is a selling point that the administration offers to most prospective students, for me, it means that life as a student is neither overbearing nor uninteresting. This is exactly what I want for my college experience.

I write this as I am about to enter William & Mary as a freshman. To my surprise, I am not nervous to transition into this new phase of my life. The open atmosphere at William & Mary ensures that I have no need to be. Had I decided to attend another school, it is likely I would be anxious right now. Frankly, William and Mary already feels like home.



I’ve gone from focusing on the social sciences, to biology, to math and computer science in the past three years. The thread running through these seemingly disparate interests (which I’ve only recently learned to articulate) is that I’m fascinated by the mechanics and evolution of computational systems and by applications of that research area in economics, psychology and biology. My academic trajectory at W&M has been a continual process of discovery: through economics and psychology I discovered the applications of game theory, and pursuing that led me to discover evolutionary theory and agent-based computer simulations, which led me to biology and eventually math and CS.

W&M ActivitiesAnnabel, Bezi and Aidan
  • Stairwells (a cappella group)
Spring 2017

Studied abroad at Oxford University


The primary goal of my 1693 project is to get experience programming computer simulations of ecological and evolutionary systems, and the more hopeful secondary goal is to use those simulations to draw novel conclusions about the nature of eco-evolutionary systems. After having traveled to Europe to meet with researchers at the International Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IEES) in Paris and KU Leuven in Belgium, I already have substantial programming experience, and it looks like I’ll be able to complete a full research project on eco-evolutionary systems by the end of this next semester. I’m very happy to have gotten to this point after only a summer’s worth of work, given that I had little previous experience working with biological modelling or computer simulations. I also don’t think I would have reached this point had I not been able to work in person with my supervising professor, Jelena Pantel, and her colleagues at IEES and KU Leuven.

High School Activities
  • Captain of Soccer
  • VP of National Catholic Forensic League
  • HOBY Regional Ambassador
  • Leads in one-act plays
  • Research on head injuries
  • Salutatorian of Gonzaga College High School
  • National Merit Semi-Finalist
  • Gold Medal National Latin Exam
  • AP Scholar with Distinction
  • National Honor Society