Fred and Cathy

are getting married!

Who we are

Frederick Matthew Howard grew up in the small northwestern Chicago suburb of Cary, Illinois.  Catherine Aiyuan Gao was born in Jinan, Shandong spent most of her childhood in various suburbs of Boston, then moved to the north Chicago suburb of Lake Forest, Illinois.

Cathy and Fred both attended the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy for high school. They did not know each other very well, but both participated in the American Computer Science League club.  Fred was also active in the Math Team and his renowned rap group, P. Zoo.  (Listen to Math Circle.)  Cathy thought Fred’s songs were pretty cool, and Fred thought Cathy’s multicolored hair was pretty cool.

IMSA   /    IMSA

imsa fred 2imsa cathy

Afterwards, Fred attended Cornell College of Arts and Sciences, where he studied Computational Biology, Chemistry, and Economics.  Cathy attended Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, where she studied Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Creative Writing.  Fred was an active volunteer in the fire department and EMS, and did research with the Hudson Lab.  Cathy studied fruit flies, RNAi, and virology with the Carthew Lab and wrote movie reviews for The Daily Northwestern.  For four years, Cathy and Fred did not interact in the slightest…


imsa fred254588_1836947520196_1174328_n

Cathy and Fred both matriculated at the University of Michigan Medical School in 2011.  They performed together in Biorhythms, the medical school music/dance show, in both the rap group Phlomax and the Indian Fusion Dance.  They also did epidemiological research together on the relationship between ethnicity, fluency, and health risk factors in underserved Michigan populations.   Fred co-founded a company called Armedillo, a medical informatics design company that created the app, Pathfinder.  Cathy worked hard on her goal of eating/photographing/blogging about every single restaurant in Ann Arbor through her website, CloverEats!



One day, Fred asked Cathy to go on a picnic, on a bridge over the river at sunset.  However, he did not ask her out during this picturesque scene.  Instead, after they got back home, he had a few drinks and then worked up the courage to finally ask her out.  Cathy was impressed by Fred’s excellent video game skills, and so agreed to go out with him.  Time passed, two cats were acquired. Several years later, Fred again asked Cathy to go on a picnic, on a bridge over the river at sunset.  However, he did not propose during this picturesque scene.  He did it once they got home!

Moissanite ring from Etsy

Custom moissanite flower ring from Etsy




And the rest, as they say, is history!  Fred and Cathy are officially getting married, and would love to share this memorable time with you!  Thank you!




Marumari and Pyotr


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