The following are observations by students and recent graduates on their experiences majoring or minoring in mathematics.
Joselle O'Brien '13, Applied Mathematics and Medical Biology double major at UNE, who went on to study for a Master’s in Biostatistics at the University of Buffalo
"Having spent a year thus far in grad school, I am already aware of how fruitful my Mathematics education at UNE has been; it offered a substantial time for the honing of my mathematical capacity, particularly through the variety of classes and opportunities for collaborative research. I was always supported by your faculty, who did not hesitate to help in this expansion of my experiences. Considering I also majored in Medical Sciences, along with the Math, my prospects have been incredible, and thus far I have been able to perform optimally, and know that I will continue to do so. Math is valuable regardless of the career path chosen, and I've found this to surely set me apart in my current department, with my balance of math and biological knowledge, especially when it comes to using statistics as a bridge between the two.
"I've found Biostats itself to be an incredibly intriguing field, beyond my expectations actually. I've taken quite a few electives already, which have led me to believe in the wide and varied scope of this field. ... Throughout the semester, we learned the theory and implementation of different mining techniques for analyzing large data sets. I immediately enjoyed the hands on nature of the course (we use the statistical software R) and halfway through the semester, the professor, asked me to join the research project of which she is a part. I am working with ovarian cancer metabolomics data, aimed toward helping to develop a profiling strategy for detection."
Cassidy Peterson '13, Double Major in Applied Mathematics and Marine Sciences
"Because of my background in marine biology and math, a potential adviser at University of Florida offered me a Ph.D. candidate position following the completion of my M.S. while I was still an undergrad, proving how in-demand mathematically-minded marine biologists really are. Regardless of the job market, there will always be a place for researchers who bridge the disciplines of math and biology."
Liese Carlton '14, Double Major Applied Mathematics and Marine Sciences
"Quantitative marine scientists are in high demand right now due to the need to revise current management strategies and rethink old dogmas. A marine scientist with a math background will be set apart from other job applicants and can use their knowledge to create innovative solutions to research problems."
Joseph Langan '15, Double Major in Applied Mathematics and Marine Sciences (at left in photo)
"I am pursuing an honors thesis investigating the impacts of recreational fishing in the Gulf of Maine on Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). My research involves using data I helped to collect for a graduate student’s thesis during the summer of 2013 to model Gulf of Maine cod populations and assess the potential impacts of recreational fishing. This work would be impossible without a strong background in mathematics."
Matthijs van den Berg '13, a Chemistry major with a Math minor at UNE, who is currently a graduate student at Stanford University in Physical Chemistry
"Initially my math minor was just an easy addition to my resume: my major already required a few math courses, and I enjoyed them, so why not take a few more. Courses like Abstract Algebra and Graph Theory really changed my way of thinking, but as I was taking more math classes the immediate applicability to chemistry became more obvious: Statistics helped me with Quantitative Analysis, and Linear Algebra was invaluable to my experience in Physical Chemistry.
"Finally, the real advantage came when I got to graduate school: Stanford has been making a great push for using Matlab, and because I took the Matlab programming course at UNE, I had a great head start on my peers. Being familiar with Matlab and LaTeX from my UNE math classes made my graduate work using both languages for Chemistry so much easier (and more fun): now I am using Matlab to do molecular simulations of chemical systems.
I've come to realize more and more how my math training at UNE is really helping me understand Chemistry better. Of course I am biased: I ended up getting into it, taking more classes than required for the minor and co-founding the Math Club. However, the Math minor really contributed immensely to my successes both at UNE and beyond."