Mathematics Alumni in Graduate School

Sophie Adams '18

I am currently working as a Hydrometeorological Research Assistant at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. I received the offer to start research at Plymouth State after I accepted an offer of admission into the Applied Meteorology Master of Science program which I will start in the Fall. The current research I am working in uses an extensive skill set I developed both in the Saint Michael’s mathematics department and in my extracurricular involvement.

The research is focused mainly on forest micrometeorology, which is a novel field that could have a variety of impacts on climate change models, and the calculations for the net energy budget. I’ve been leading the statistical analysis using data collected at a Flux Tower in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest using multiple regression methods in the R software I learned at Saint Michael’s with Dr. Michael Larsen and Dr. Phil Yates. Another aspect of my job also involves leading the publicity for the project, such as writing blog posts, and taking photographs. This Fall, I’ll be continuing statistical analysis with data from the Flux Tower and working with the Mount Washington Observatory and helping a fellow graduate student place snowpack sensors around the base of Tuckerman’s Ravine. This will help us understand snowmelt dynamics and improve avalanche prediction.

I feel extremely lucky to be involved in this work as it applies all that I learned and experienced as a Mathematics major and Environmental Studies/Studio Art minors.  Additionally, it incorporates field work and wilderness skills I gained as an Adventure Sports Instructor, public speaking skills and presentation skills as Student Association President, and the written communication skills honed by the liberal arts curriculum. I hope to get further involved in my community at Plymouth State and continue activism and social justice work I was fortunate enough to participate in at Saint Michael’s.

It’s a no-brainer that I wouldn’t have been able to achieve and apply all the skills I learned at St. Mike’s without the passionate faculty, staff, and students. My advice? Soak it all up, and find something post grad that uses the unique skill set you build as a mathematics student at a liberal arts institution.

Aaron DaSilva '17

I graduated in the Spring of 2017 with a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science. I am currently pursuing a Master’s of Science degree in Applied Mathematics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as a full-time graduate student. I chose this program because it allowed me to further cultivate my knowledge and understanding of Math, while including the flexibility to incorporate a multitude of applicable fields and disciplines, such as Computer Science, Statistics, Biostatistics, Physics, and Finance. As a Master’s of Science degree, this program intends to provide its students with the appropriate skills necessary for industry.


To expand my industry experience and utilize my education, I am also currently working as a Data Analytics Support Intern at ISO New England (ISO-NE) in Holyoke, Massachusetts. ISO-NE is a not-for-profit company, which performs the critical roles of planning for future electricity needs, maintaining grid operation and designing, overseeing, and running the electricity markets for the majority of New England. As an intern, my responsibilities include developing and maintaining various software programs that process and analyze data. My undergraduate studies in Math and Computer Science and my current graduate studies in Applied Math have provided me with appropriate problem-solving and technical skills necessary to succeed in such a field.


The education I received at St. Mike’s has proven to be exceptional. While focusing my studies on Math and Computer Science, the liberal arts education that I received allowed me to develop a deeper interest and appreciation for various fields of study. This undergraduate education, as well as working in the MakerSpace, further allowed me to see the world from a variety of different lenses and perspectives. The tremendous faculty and staff at St. Mike’s provided me with guidance and knowledge while being exceptionally approachable and supportive. These experiences and people encouraged me to advance my education in an interdisciplinary direction to prepare for a future in industry.

Weihan Luo '17

I am currently studying Finance for my Master’s degree at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. I am enrolled in the Master’s program as a full-time student, and I will graduate in December 2018.

To enroll into a top university in the world, I knew it would involve more than luck. All I have today including my knowledge, skills, morals, etc. are provided by Saint Michael’s College.

The education I received from Saint Michael’s College is a world top-level. It prepared me very well for the future, not only in my career. The knowledge I have learned from SMC is very useful and, more than that, the communication skills and leadership ability always pushed me to become a leader in team work.

My last year at Saint Michael’s was my hardest time in College since I was really confused about my future; luckily I accepted more than enough advice from the staff, especially Professors Jo Ellis-Monaghan, George Ashline, Zsuzsanna Kadas, Lloyd Simons, and Richard Gamache. They provided knowledge and advice for me like family members and friends. Their support made me confident without fear for any challenges.

My parents and I believe my education was more than expected from Saint Michael’s College. We believe Saint Michael’s not only made me knowledgeable, but a good person inside.

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.

Katelyn Heath '14

katelyn heath

I am currently a third year Economics Ph.D. student at Cornell University. My research focuses on the economics of education with an emphasis on special education. In my third year, I conduct research, attend seminars, and work as a teaching assistant. My past courses have included Labor Economics, Public Finance, Economics of Education, 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 have since worked as a TA for a variety of courses. At the beginning of fourth year we are required to pass an oral exam in which we present the research topics for our final dissertation. 

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, multivariate 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.

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.

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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