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Alumni from the mathematics department have gone onto further their education as well as pursue careers as business analysts, software developers, market analysts, and more.
Trinity is proud of the achievements of its alumni and likes to keep up with their work, life, and ongoing educational experiences. If you graduated with a degree in mathematics, feel free to contact the department and let us know what you've been up to.
I studied math at Trinity because it challenged me. Mastering complex concepts gave me a sense of fulfillment. My math major developed my logical ability and problem solving skills, and Trinity's emphasis on holistic education and the liberal arts taught me to think critically and communicate articulately. These talents serve me every day in my current job pricing auto insurance. My actuarial career path directly involves applied math, and it holds the potential for life-long continuing education. I never want to stop learning.
Teaching college courses has been one of the most engaging, enjoyable, and fulfilling things I've done in my adult life. I've taught calculus a few times and attempted to emulate the professors I learned so much from—including those at Trinity where I took the courses I'm now teaching. The quality of instruction at Trinity was fantastic, and I think it equipped me well to go on and dispense mathematics to others. The mathematics department also gave me opportunities for research, via IRBM, and teaching, via calculus tutoring, which helped with my graduate admissions.
My main research is in Geometric Measure Theory, which (to me, at least) is a way to generalize tools used to analyze very nice sets (graphs of smooth functions, for instance) to instead analyze subsets of Euclidean space that at first glance appear not so well behaved. A big part of this is searching for sets which are ''minimal'' in some reasonable sense--for a concrete example, think about how the shape of a soap bubble attempts to minimize area for an enclosed volume, or, slightly more complicated, how a soap film attempts to minimize area for its given boundary. More generally, in lots of situations behavior of various objects is governed by an attempt to minimize something, even if it's not immediately clear what that quantity may be. The main goal of GMT is then to show that sets which are minimal are much nicer than we may have initially expected--the fancy math word for this is regularity.
To current students who may be graduate school bound, I'd give all the standard advice: learn lots of calculus for the GRE, take all the math classes you can, try to do research during the summers--but beyond that I'd say try to pay attention to the teaching of the professors around you--I learned quite a bit about teaching mathematics just from watching my professors.
I am currently living in Ann Arbor, where I am a PhD student in Educational Studies at University of Michigan. My research interests focus on studying the role of language, listening, and teachers’ professional knowledge in facilitating effective communication in the mathematics classroom. Prior to attending University of Michigan, I received a MS in Mathematics from Texas State University and a BA in Mathematics and Business Administration from Trinity University.
While I was at Trinity, I struggled to figure out what I wanted to do after graduation. It wasn’t until my senior year, when Professor Macura suggested that I look into PhD programs in mathematics education, that I decided to pursue a graduate degree. I realize now how important my Trinity education was in preparing me for this path. I learned a lot of mathematics, but I also learned how to read closely, how to write well-constructed arguments, and most importantly, how to think deeply about the things that I learn. The classes weren’t always easy (ok, the classes were never easy), but the professors in the math department were awesome about setting high expectations and pushing me, while supporting me along the way.
Studying math at Trinity means going beyond the plug-and-chug monotony of high school and developing serious problem-solving chops. What I learned gave me the technical background and self-confidence I needed to quit my office job, become a freelance programmer and travel the world. Before this crazy phase, I was a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, applying my degree to research about international financial markets.
My advice to current students? Take classes that challenge you and don't worry about your grades. Just keep up with the material. Oh, and if you do end up a math major, take your senior project seriously.