Mathematics Alumni in Graduate School

Logan David '16

I am currently a graduate student at Boston University pursuing a Master’s of Arts degree in teaching secondary mathematics. I was lucky enough to be accepted to the Robert Noyce Scholarship Program—a program dedicated to bringing highly qualified STEM teachers to high-needs school districts. This program provides me with the opportunity to deepen and reflect my own education, while being an active advocate for underprivileged children who do not have access to a good education. As a teacher, I hope to show students that education can open up many possibilities for them. Ultimately, I am driven by the impact that my education had on me, and I want to have that same impact on the lives of others and provide to them the gateways to succeed in doing something that they are passionate about.

The great education I received at St. Mike’s has been very helpful. Having earned a mathematics degree at St. Michael’s has better prepared me to succeed in the mathematical portion of the program I am in at BU. I am confident that as a teacher I will be able to convey mathematical concepts successfully to my students. The liberal arts education I received at St. Mike’s helped me to become a well-rounded thinker—allowing me to see how mathematics and other subjects reinforce each other. The liberal arts program also pushed my creativity and strengthened my commitment to fighting social injustices. Once I receive my degree, I plan to fulfill my program requirement and teach a minimum of two years in high-needs schools in Boston.

Mac Edmondson '16

I am currently in my first year of a Biostatistics Ph.D. program at Penn. In addition to taking a full course load, I participate in a lab rotation during each of the first three semesters of my program. During my first semester, I worked with a faculty member on a project in neuroimaging. Specifically, we worked to develop and evaluate a novel method for conducting connectome-wide association studies (CWAS). In addition to learning a lot about the neuroimaging field, I learned many practical research skills during my rotation, such as designing simulation studies and running simulations on a parallel computing cluster.

My Saint Michael's mathematics education prepared me extremely well for my Ph.D. program in biostatistics. Recently completing my first semester, I can say that I have already used many skills and concepts learned in various mathematics courses taken at SMC. Statistical techniques and concepts taught in Prof. Yates' statistics courses have proven to be very useful, as have integration techniques taught in the Calculus sequence and proof-writing skills taught in Prof. Hefferon's Proofs course.

Above all, majoring in mathematics at Saint Michael's taught me how to solve difficult problems, and that's what I find myself doing on what seems like a daily basis here at Penn. Many faculty members I've spoken to have commented on how well-prepared students are who come from mathematics programs at liberal arts colleges, and what Saint Michael's has done for my preparation is no different. I am incredibly grateful for all I learned during my time at SMC, and I anticipate that more of what I learned in my four years there will continue to show its relevance as my graduate school career continues.

Kristen McCarthy '16

As a mathematics and environmental studies double major with a minor in chemistry, I knew I wanted to apply my mathematical background to a field in the sciences.  Past work experience with the North East Water Resource Network, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Watershed Alliance, UVM's water quality lab, and most recently Maine Lakes Environmental Association, made me realize my love for water resources.  I eventually decided that graduate school would be the best choice for me and I was excited to be accepted into the School of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at the University of Delaware.  I am currently a geological sciences masters student focusing on fluvial geomorphology and water resources in general.  I was able to receive funding as a teacher's assistant for the first semester and as a research assistant for the next three, including during the summer.  The project I am working on involves data collection of erosion and deposition rates in a nearby river and ultimately mathematical modeling of sediment transport within the watershed. I am currently teaching multiple geological hazards labs, and taking courses in watershed hydrochemistry and fluvial geomorphology.

When applying to graduate school, my advisor was happy to see that I had a mathematical background, and it has already helped me greatly. Although I had never taken a geology class prior to graduate school, I believe that the education that Saint Michael's provided has supplied me with the tools needed to achieve my goals. 

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.

Jeff Trites '14

I am currently a graduate student at the University of Vermont pursuing a master’s degree in Biostatistics. I was fortunate enough to become a teaching assistant for my first semester which affords me the opportunity to help students who are enrolled in several introductory statistics courses, and I hope to continue that work in my second year. Next year, I would like to participate in the internship program that UVM’s Statistics department has established with the Vermont Department of Health. This will be an exciting way to use the skills I have learned in a practical setting in a way that could potentially benefit the broader community.

My education at Saint Mike’s has been invaluable to my confidence and success in my current studies. Specifically, classes in Linear Algebra, Calculus, and Econometrics have greatly increased my understanding of the classes I am currently enrolled in which include Probability Theory, Statistical Methods, and Medical Biostatistics/Epidemiology. Truthfully, I don’t know what I want to do with my degree when I graduate. However, there are several paths to choose from, and no matter what I choose to do, I know that I will always be inspired by the core values of social responsibility, dedication, and community that I could only learn from attending Saint Michael’s College.

Thomas Dickerson '13

I am currently a 3rd year graduate student in the Department of Computer Science at Brown University in a combined MS/PhD track.

My research has centered on applying the algorithmic lens (or "computational perspective") to problems in other scientific disciplines, continuing a theme that began during my undergraduate research with Saint Mike's professors Jo Ellis-Monaghan and Greta Pangborn.

In addition to my research, as a graduate student I have been a teaching assistant for "Design and Analysis of Algorithms" (roughly equivalent to the Advanced Algorithms course taught at SMC), which I was well prepared for by my experience TAing the intro computer science track as an undergraduate student.

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).

In May of 2015, I passed my preliminary oral exam and received my Master's in Mathematics.  In Spring of 2016, I completed all of the requirements to earn a Master's in Industrial and Systems Engineering. In summer of 2016, I am a software engineering intern in the 3M Health Information Systems data science lab. 

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.

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.

Learn What Matters