Mathematics Alumni in Graduate School

Katelyn Heath '14

katelyn heath

I am currently a second year Economics Ph.D. student at Cornell University. My courses this year include Labor Economics, Public Finance, and Applied Econometrics.  At the end of my first year I successfully took three qualifying exams in Macro, Micro, and Econometrics, which I needed to pass in order to continue in the program. In the first year I was supported by a fellowship, and I am now working as a TA for an introductory statistics course.  I would like to pursue research in the Economics of Education, and hope to make this the topic of my second year paper requirement.

My mathematics major at St. Mike's has been essential to my success in graduate school. My first year econ coursework consisted of as much math as economics, and the courses I took at St. Mike's prepared me well for this. We have consistently used optimization theory, multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and real analysis. Working closely with professors at Saint Michael's both in and out of the classroom gave me the opportunity to master the mathematics topics in my undergraduate courses which I am now able to apply to my graduate studies in economics.

Maria Leuci '13

I am currently a second year graduate student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. I am currently teaching two sections of Introduction to Statistics. I’ve already been busy creating lesson plans, taking classes, working on my Master’s Project and preparing for graduation.

I’m working on my Master’s Project right now; it will focus on the Dirac Equation, the Dirac Matrices, and Pauli’s Fundamental Theorem. In October I will be presenting the project in front of my professors and peers, and hopefully, if all goes well, will pass and be on track to graduate in December.

My math and time management skills that I gained from Saint Mike’s have been helpful in my studies here at UTC. I don’t think I would be able to being doing all that I’m doing this semester if I hadn’t done that, and I’m sure it will help me in the future. 

As of right now, I’m not fully decided on what I will do when I graduate. I have been applying to some adjunct and lecturer positions and have been looking into environmental research positions as well. Because I’m interested in research, getting my PhD is another option for the future.

Kaitlyn Tuthill '11

kate tuthill I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Education Research, Measurement, and Evaluation (ERME) at Boston College, after which I hope to become a director of Institutional Research. I was first introduced to this field at St. Mike's, and after working in higher education for three years between St. Mike's and going to graduate school, this program fits all my interests—I'll work in higher education using survey data of the college or university to analyze and evaluate programs within the school, or the school as a whole. I'm particularly drawn to this field because it applies statistics in what I think of as an interesting and exciting way. The math background I gained at St. Mike's has been invaluable in this program - while the classes I am taking are more in the field of statistics, I find myself applying and using concepts I learned from multiple classes I took in the St. Mike's math department. Among others, my linear algebra notes have definitely come in handy!

Not only did SMC further develop my interest in mathematics and statistics, it helped me to learn what I really wanted to prioritize in a graduate school. I learned so well in the academic environment at St. Mike's, and knew I wanted a program that was going to treat me as an individual student, that had small class sizes, and that had professors that had a real interest in their students. This program has been great in catering to my particular interests in Institutional Research, providing me opportunities to work in the IR office at Boston College. I’m excited for what the next few years at BC have in store!

Brittany Baker '11

I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Minnesota. My goal is to be a professor at a small liberal arts college (someplace like Saint Michael's).

Saint Michael's helped me realize that I do not want to teach high school. At Saint Michael's I discovered my love for undergraduate level mathematics. Also the teaching at Saint Michael's is for the students, which helped me to succeed there and inspired me to go further.

Sarah Hamilton '07

sarah hamilton

I am currently a graduate student at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, CO. In 2008, I had a research assistantship and worked on an interdisciplinary project for the Program in Interdisciplinary Mathematics Ecology and Statistics (PrIMES). We evaluated at the effectiveness of the management strategies for the bison herd at Badlands National Park. The project provided a unique experience to work with graduate students, post-docs, professors, and national park employees of varying disciplines and had the added bonus of resulting in two journal publications.

As a teaching assistant, I have taught my own sections of Differential Equations, Calculus II for the physical sciences, and Calculus I for the biological sciences. I love teaching and, in and out of the classroom, I strive to create an environment similar to what I experienced while at SMC: receptive, comfortable, and engaging.

I received my Masters of Science degree in 2009 and am currently finishing up my Ph.D. I am working with Dr. Jennifer Mueller working in the area of Inverse Problems with a specific interest in Electrical Impedance Tomography (an inexpensive non-invasive imaging modality with no radiation that has promising applications in breast cancer detection and chest imaging).

Upon leaving St. Mike's I knew my education had been great but I did not realize how wonderful my experience was until I began my graduate classes at CSU. I have since gone on to pass all of my qualifying exams (Real Analysis, Measure Theory, Complex Analysis, Linear Algebra, and Abstract Algebra) on the first attempt.

I am grateful for the fact that at Saint Michael's the professors (math especially) were very willing to meet with you outside of office hours and that the focus was on your education (not their individual research and publishing goals). I also appreciate the independent studies work that I did with Professor Kadas throughout my senior year, and her encouragement of my presenting at the Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference. As well, I value the opportunity I had to pursue a summer research project with Professor Ellis-Monaghan and Professor Pangborn. Learning how to use LaTeX then has proved extremely beneficial in my graduate studies.

As a student of Dr. Mueller at CSU, I have had many opportunities to attend and participate in conferences and workshops in some amazing places. In the fall of 2010, I spent three weeks at MSRI in Berkeley, California during a semester focused on Inverse Problems. MSRI is an amazing place that brings together the world’s finest minds in a given area and hosts workshops where their knowledge can be shared with graduate students and anyone interested in learning. I have also attended AIPC 2011 at Texas A&M, ICIAM 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia CA, and a summer school at FICS in Helsinki, Finland in 2010.

In December, I am headed back to Helsinki, Finland to participate in Inverse Days 2011. I strongly feel that my liberal arts education at SMC has allowed me to excel in networking and communication in my post-undergraduate mathematics career. Being able to do great math is wonderful, but being able to do great math and communicate it effectively is rare. SMC prepares students for both.

Jessica Scheld '05

jessica sheld

I'm currently in my 4th year of study at Rutgers. In May, I'll be ABD, so I'm finishing up a few courses this year. My research will focus on urban education. I'm finishing up my first chapter, which looks at the effect of competition among schools on student achievement. In Massachusetts' public schools, increased charter school penetration has a positive effect in urban districts, but negative effects in suburban districts. Private school enrollments have less variation over the years studied, and have negligible effects across Massachusetts.

In my next chapters, I'll move to looking at the transition from secondary to post-secondary education, and the effect of collegiate choices on labor market outcomes. I'm really excited to get started on this next project.

After I finish, I hope to be a professor in a small liberal arts school (like St. Mike's), where teaching undergraduates is a main focus. SMC prepared me for graduate work in both my mathematics and economics courses through passionate professors. My professors in both disciplines showed me how exciting math and economics can be in the classroom and exposed me to opportunities (ie. REU at WPI, internships, research projects with Prof. Ellis-Monaghan) that gave me my first experiences in research. I attribute my passion for research to attending a school that allowed me to grow as both a student and person.

Tristan Hauser '03

tristan hauser

I am a MSc Candidate in Physical Oceanography at Memorial University of Newfoundland in the Canada Glacial Systems Dynamics Working Group.

I am currently attempting to test and to help develop data assimilation methodologies that will assist in quantifying the uncertainties induced by the approximations needed to parameterize Earth Systems models. This information would allow these models to be more effective in assessing the potential range of future climate states.

An understanding of and competency in the fundamentals of "higher" mathematics seems to be invaluable in any scientific activity, with knowledge of Linear Algebra definitely counting as a fundamental skill. The only reason Professor Jim Hefferon's book isn't permanently on my desk is that my officemates keep borrowing it.

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