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Comments from Alumni



“The environment between professors and students here is a special one, as the professors would always go out of their way to help students that were eager to learn. The challenging curriculum and helpful nature of the professors went a long way to making sure I was more than prepared to apply my skills towards my career.”

Garhett Bonneaux ’14

“I really enjoyed the support that I was given in the Math Department. All of the professors in the department pushed me to achieve more than I thought I was capable of and encouraged me when I struggled. Even though I haven’t used math much in my career, I feel that the support of students and the advocacy of life-long learning that I experienced while at SU still affects me to this day.”

Sarah Stern Ochel ’10 

“Every time I tell someone that I majored in Mathematics, they are always surprised. Especially since most of my classmates majored in biology or chemistry. But I think it was one of the best decisions I could have made. Not only did I enjoy majoring in math, but it has helped me remarkably in medicine thus far. The entire department improved my critical thinking skills by creating assignments/courses that were centered on complex, open-ended problems. In medicine, there are several different ways to approach a problem and come up with the answer. You may have to try several times, but eventually a diagnosis and plan for the patient can be formulated. I have found that the demanding math classes I took at SU prepared me tremendously for my future.”

Kayla Saenger ’13

“Engineering degree coupled with Math opened countless doors. The extra 1 to 2 years for for either a B.S. or Masters in engineering will be well worth the time…”

James Booth ’73

“I didn’t take any CS courses at SU. I wish I would have majored in Computer Science rather than Math since software is where my career has led me. Having the Math major did help me get jobs - people are usually impressed by it, especially in the computer industry. Also, having a Math degree helped my analytical skills which is important in programming.”

Lynn MacGowan ’98 

“I’d advise current and incoming students to take advantage of opportunities to work one-on-one with professors.  Some of my best learning experiences at Southwestern took place in an office rather than a classroom, and the ability to see a long-term project through is invaluable in the working world.”

Stephen Brown ’12

Alumni share their most valuable experiences at SU

 I’d have to say Numerical Analysis and the Capstone class were invaluable to my success in graduate school. Combinatorics with Dr. Marr as well as  pretty much every other class I took have all come in handy at various times.

Eric Godat ’12

“My most valuable courses would be operations research, discrete mathematics, and all programming classes. Operations research gave me an understanding of linear programming and helped solve real world problems; e.g. finding the optimal angle of a water pipe to minimize build cost or minimizing residuals in a linear regression model. The discrete mathematics gave me knowledge of probability that helped me pass my first actuarial exam(aptly named ‘Exam P’). All the programming classes gave me the technical foundation to work for a small software company right out of SU, for which I could not be more thankful.”

Alan Lowry ’11

“The overall thought processes and analytical skills that were developed in my course work at SU are what is most valuable to me now. I am not in a field in which I use my advanced math skills very frequently, but I regularly benefit from the ability to logically think through complex problems.”

Sara Barnes ’97

“The mathematical modeling course was by far the most helpful for my career. Having to write about and present our work is invaluable experience. It was also one of the few courses that I took which required computer work. I am also very grateful for the interaction with professors and their concern for our education.”

Lee Silverberg ’95

 “The most relevant courses that I took at SU were those in Differential Equations, Calculus, Linear Algebra and the introductory Computer Science courses that I took. In retrospect, I wish that I would have taken more programming classes. Overall, I think that I was better prepared for the theoretical rigors of Applied Math than most of my fellow students.”

Daniel Reynolds ’98

 “I liked them all— they provided a challenge and taught me to think through those challenges. I especially enjoyed algebraic structures, real analysis, complex analysis and combinatorics.”

Winnie Fristoe ‘99

“Independent study, Take-home exams. Courses that offered: 1. Opportunity to appreciate complexity regardless of the specific content. 2.Development of strong conceptual/abstract reasoning skills.”

Siddharth Sinha ’95

“Probability (very relevant to my current course of study), Real Analysis (an excellent introduction to proof).”

Nora Horick ’99

“Statistics, linear algebra, elementary geometry from an advanced viewpoint (or something close to those titles!”

Lydia Williams Hewett ’74

“Programming concepts 1 and 2, and discrete math although it has not been directly applied I learned a mental discipline.”

Brad Jacobson ’86