Mathematics Alumni in Graduate School
Maria Leuci '13
I started F14 classes on Monday, August 18 in the graduate program in Applied Mathematics at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. Things have been going well. I am a TA for Pre-calculus I, and I am also working in the schools math tutoring center (called the math plaza). I’m taking Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory, Probability and Statistics, Techniques of Applied Math, and I’m auditing Real Analysis I, so I have quite a busy semester but it’s definitely worth it!!
I feel like there’s a lot of overlap in the material I learned in undergraduate studies, especially with Linear and Prob. and Stats, and Analysis is exactly the same. So, as of right now, I feel like SMC really did prepare me for the classes I’m taking, which is nice; I’m not lost in any of classes. Right now in Applied Math we’re deriving the heat equation and the wave equation so we can use them later in the semester.
Saint Mike’s definitely prepared me for the classes and the work load as of right now is about the same, which is helpful. I’m only really taking 3 classes a semester, while in undergrad studies there were semesters where I was taking 5 courses, so it’s more relaxing now, but I’m sure it will pick up, especially with the TA duties.
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.
Dan Lewis '10
I'm in the Entrepreneurship for Science, Technology, and Engineering Masters (ESTEEM) program at Notre Dame. On the top level, the program focuses on bridging the gap between the entrepreneurial/business side of things with the technical/scientific side of things. Most of the students have an engineering, math, or other type of science background with little to no business education. We learn the business essentials and apply them to our technical project. Our thesis is based on the technical project and how we can bring it to market. This follows through with a business plan. My project is a crowd sourcing marketplace for the exchange of deals and offers online. It was essentially a seed of an idea when I got here and I have brought it into the late planning/early developmental phase so far. My adviser is confident that we will be in a beta-launch by the time I'm finished up here. GO IRISH!
Laura Beaudin '07
I have finished my Master's Program in Economics at UNH in May 2009 and have started the Ph.D. Program at UNH. I have passed all of my qualifying exams and am working on my dissertation. I am majoring in Environmental Economics and my Master's thesis focused on modeling the trends of the New England ski industry to see if climate change has had a significant impact on the industry.
The economics program at UNH relies heavily on mathematical theory. Saint Michael's provided me with the strong foundation I needed to help me excel in this program. I hope to be on the job market next year and graduate in May 2013.
Of course Saint Michael's prepared me very well for graduate school. The challenging courses gave me a taste for what the course load would be like in graduate school; however, the supportive and encouraging faculty gave me the tools I needed to succeed at a high level. I am grateful for my time at Saint Michael's because I was able to work very closely with many of the faculty members on research and projects and what I learned most in their classrooms was that I wanted to do exactly what they do, and become a college professor at a small liberal arts college. Being a professor is about more than just going to class, lecturing, and doing your own research. It is about being a source of knowledge and support for students who are discovering who they are and that they want to do while at the same time ever continuing your own learning journey. I can't think of a better career.
Sarah Hamilton '07
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 Saint 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
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.