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Department of Mathematics
Bryn Mawr College
Park Science Building

101 North Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899

Phone: 610-526-5348
FAX: 610-526-6575

Alumni

We have compiled a page full of personal statements by former math majors about the activities they have pursued after graduation. The statements make for an interesting read, and we hope they are helpful in deciding on possible career paths! Many have indicated they would be pleased to hear from current students who have questions or are looking for advice. Statements can be found by last name or graduation year. If you are an alum, we encourage you to submit your statement!

Alumni Statements by Graduation Year:

2000: 2000 | 2001 | 2002
1990: 1990 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999
1980: 1980 | 1983 | 1984 | 1986 | 1987 | 1989
1970: 1973 | 1976 | 1979
1960: 1961 | 1964 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969
   

Alumni Statements by Last Name:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A Yoko Adachi '97
Jyotsna Advani '96
Jocelyn Arcari '99
B Bridget Baird '69
Jennifer J. Blechar '96
Roberta Paula Books '64
Rebecca Buchanan '95
Kendra Burbank '00
Tiffany Burroughs '02
C Wandy Chang '01
Linda Cherkassky '93

Hilary Cooke '98
Deborah Cousins '94
A. Heather Coyne '94
Dr. Annalisa Crannell '87
Sarah A Crown '02
D Amy Dickinson '68
Cecilia Diniz '99
Kathleen Dooley '97
Lisa Duffy '01
E Rebecca Earle '86
F Jennifer Faerber '00
Kristine Falk Snyder'02
Elizabeth Ferry '97
Jamie Fiore '98
Jennifer Fisher '00
Heather Fleming '98
Karyn Folland '96
Reena Freedman '93
G Laura Gellert '93
H Emma Haddad '02
Susan Hayflick '80
Zhenjian He '98
Rhonda Hellman '89
Josephine Gia Hinman '86
Jessica Hope '97
Maria Hristova '02
Anna Hu '01
I  
J Susan Jo '00
Ragini Joshi '73
K Abigail Kay '92
Katie Kerr '92
Elaina Khenina '00
Theresa Kim '01
Cheryl Koester '99

Keli Kringel '93
L Benna Lehrer '97
Wendy Leisenring, Sc.D. '86
M

Elizabeth H. Margosches '70
Barbara Anne STANFORD Mason '61
Moira McDermott '88

Corinne McNeely '98
Verena Meiser '83
Aili Monahan '02
Linday Moore '00
Vidya Murthy '97

N Michiru Nasu '00
Jennifer Nissly '02
Jasmine Nittiksimmons '02
Laura McKinney Novak '95
O Janet O'Sullivan '76
P Cathi Pappas '86
Lori Perine '80
Elisabeth(Lisa) Mennella Pyle '94
Q Carol (Bergstresser) Quick '90
R Jessica Ree '99
Kimberly Rhodes '00
S Billie (Wilma) Sandler '66
Catherine Searle '84
Rebecca Segal '94
Daniel Soltis '98
Ann K. Stehney Ph.D. '67
Marianne Sutton MD, MPH '79
T Yuka Tamura '00
Rachael Thomas '01
Robbee Tonubbee '93
Louisa (Winer) Tran '96
U Meridith Unger '01
V Rachel E. Vincent '97
W Sylvia M. Wiegand '66
Kate Wilson '79
Sharon Winer '90
Jill Wong '98
X  
Y  
Z Maria Markakis Zestos, MD '83

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Class of 2002

Tiffany Burroughs

Email: tiffburroughs@hotmail.com

After graduating from Bryn Mawr in 2002, I applied for several business jobs. Employers were definitely impressed with my mathematical background from Bryn Mawr, (I was offered a couple good jobs), but I really just wasn't excited about working in business at the time. I moved to Minneapolis where I worked as a clinical lab scientist for Memorial Blood Center. I used DNA testing to check donors' blood for HIV, HBV, HCV, and West Nile Virus. I really loved my job! Though I didn't use mathematics on a daily basis, I definitely used skills gained from my mathematical background, like attention to detail and analytical thinking. Now I have moved back to the Philadelphia area where I'm about to begin the master's of mathematics program at Villanova. I'll leave room for flexibility in my future plans, but I'm kind of shifting gears and thinking of working towards a career as an operations research analyst. I miss doing mathematics and it seems like a job that would be a great fit with my interests. Feel free to email me!

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Sarah A Crown


I am currently in the Mathematics PhD program at the University of Michigan. Though it is still early and my mind may change, I am thinking of specializing in algebraic combinatorics. So far I've loved studying here; everyone in the department is both excited about mathematics and also very supportive.

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Kristine Falk Snyder


Since graduating from BMC, I've received a Master's in Integrative Physiology and a Master's and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado, married my husband, and received an NSF postdoctoral fellowship in what is essntially computational neuromechanics. 

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Emma Haddad


These days I'm working at a legal clinic, doing pretty much whatever needs doing. It's very interesting, but I don't really use any math beyond arithmetic. For the future, I want to teach. I'm applying to graduate schools in education to begin either this summer or fall, depending on the program.

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Maria Hristova


"I started working as a Software Test Engineer at Microsoft in August of 2002. I work on a product called SharePoint Team Services which is a collaboration software allowing people to share information and manage group activities efficiently. We will be releasing version 2.0 of the product later on this year so things are a little hectic here right now. My job consists of testing various aspects of the product and making sure that we ship a quality piece of software to our customers. I am happy that I decided to go into the industry instead of grad school right away but I have to be honest and say that I think about going back to school quite often.

I double-majored with CS at Bryn Mawr and deciding to stick with the double major was probably the smartest thing that I could have done. I have to admit that I use more the knowledge that I acquired as a CS major in my job but having double-majored with Math gives me that extra piece of credibility whenever I need it. :) I am involved with the Women Organization at Microsoft and I plan to come back to BMC on a diversity recruiting trip at some point this year."

This is the short version - if I were the tell the long one I would probably say that when I came to Microsoft the learning curve almost killed me the first couple of months and I am still recovering from that. Everybody here is very openly competitive and I was shocked to discover that coming out of Bryn Mawr. There aren't enough women in the technology field and this is very apparent at a company like Microsoft -I am hoping to get more involved with the diversity recruiting efforts that we have here and try to change that. But the long version would take too long and I have to run for a meeting. :)

I hope to get a chance to see you and the rest of the Math department when I come back on the recruiting trip. If you know of somebody looking for a job or internship in the technology field please give them my email address and I can forward their information to HR here.

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Aili Monahan

Email: aili.monahan@westtown.edu

I'm currently a high school math teacher at Westtown School in Westtown, PA. I am teaching Geometry and Algebra II. Westtown School is a private, Quaker boarding school with about 400 students in the Upper School. I am also a dorm parent and Varsity soccer coach for the girls program. I live on campus (in fact, on a girls hall) and my housing is provided to me for free, as well as food in the dining room. My long term plans include staying here for another year and then possibly applying to Law School or pursuing a masters in Social Work. I am interested in working in an area related to child advocacy.

If current senior math majors are interested in teaching next year and looking for options, Westtown is in the market for new math teachers. Only an A.B. is neccessary and they enjoy getting students from the Tri-Co. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to talk to me about teaching math in private schools.

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Jennifer Nissly


I am currently living in San Francisco, CA. I am an Associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers. In my work, I do not really use the information I learned in my classes but I use the thought process that I learned while at Bryn Mawr. I use the skill of breaking down a problem, looking at the individual parts, and then putting the pieces back together as a solution.

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Jasmine Nittiksimmons


I am working as a systems analyst for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA. I work in the engineering group. Our primary job is to assess the health of the spacecrafts and the ground systems that support them. We do this by looking at how much data was lost or degraded in the process of either getting to a spacecraft or coming back from a spacecraft and through all the decoding processes. We also look at other statistical measures of performance including mean-time-between-failure. It is very exciting to be working at NASA (lots of rocket scientist jokes). It is always funny when I hear myself saying, "I work for NASA." The next few years here (2003-2004) will become even more exciting because there will be a multitude of spacecrafts making passes near earth all very close to one another which will require tracking more than one spacecraft at one time on a single antenna. This has not been required in the past. There is a lot of cool information on JPL projects at http://jpl.nasa.gov. There are also some beautiful pictures taken from the Hubble telescope.

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Class of 2001

Lisa Duffy


I am attending medical school right across town from Bryn Mawr at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. After Bryn Mawr I took a year off to work at home in New York while applying to medical schools. I started school this past fall and will be completing my first year in May. I absolutely love med school despite the enormous amounts of studying it requires.


While I did not go into a career directly related to Mathematics, my training at Bryn Mawr prepared me to be an analytic thinker. I think being a math major will help me as a diagnostician because as a math major you learn to be a good problem solver and thinker.

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Anna Hu

Email: alrchv@aol.com

I am currently working at Lockheed Martin in King of Prussia, where I have been for about 3 yrs. My title is "Systems Engineer", a title which can encompass a wide range of work. Basically, though, systems engineering involves work designing, developing, analyzing, and testing "systems", e.g. communications systems, spacecraft systems. My work at Lockheed has involved many aspects of systems engineering, including development of system requirements, putting together detailed design algorithms for systems, and designing and executing testing for the system.

More recently, I have moved to a group in Lockheed that focuses on doing Decision Analysis. The goal of Decision Analysis is to approach making decisions in a structured, systematic manner with the purpose of determining a "best-value" course of action that is based on what is most important to the decision maker. The purpose of our group is to perform decision analysis as it relates to all aspects of systems engineering.

There are times where I have really enjoyed my job, & times where I've hated it. Overall, though, I would say that I've mostly enjoyed it. Quite honestly, whether I am enjoying my job or not, I would have to say that it has very little to do w/ the actual work I am doing at the time. I find the type of work that I am engaged in to be interesting (which I think is an important basis for whether one will be able to enjoy a job or not). So it is really the non-technical aspects of the job - the people I end up working with, the office politics, etc (& I guess my opininon & attitude to those things!) - that determine whether or not I find my work experience to be enjoyable at any particular time.

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Meridith Unger

Email: munger@svbank.com

Since graduating in 2001, I've been working as a Credit Analyst at Silicon Valley Bank, a commercial lender, just outside of Boston. My math background had very little to do with being qualified for the job (in fact I wasn't qualified, having no accounting experience), but having a BA from a well-known liberal arts college seemed to do the trick. The job is primarily accounting, and the math that I use is mostly simple arithmetic, but financial analysis, while not as difficult as Real Analysis, is analysis nonetheless. I had the opportunity to hone those skills at Bryn Mawr. I've also found that a degree in Math demands a certain amount of respect from the business world. They seem to think we're rocket scientists, allowing math majors to pursue almost any career path. In addition to playing the mathematics card, I've also been able to really use my liberal arts education to my advantage. It has been agreed time and time again that an individual with a degree from a liberal arts college has a determination, perserverence and well-roundedness that is lacking in so many others. These are qualities far more impressive in the business world than what business, economics or accounting classes you might have taken in school.

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Wandy Chang


After I graduated from Bryn Mawr, I worked in an architecture office in NYC during the summer but my current career is actually of a high school mathematics teacher. I am teaching in Scotch Plains, NJ where I teach at the Union County Magnet High School for Math, Science, and Technology. It is a school specifically designed for prearchitecture and preengineering majors. I have 20 students and I teach Geometry, Precalculus, and Calculus III. I am also the Advisor for the Class of 2006 and am the SAT prep Instructor. Teaching keeps me pretty busy but I do intend to leave teaching (for now) and return to graduate school for a Master's in Architecture. Three of my students have applied to Bryn Mawr and I know that one of them has accepted entrance next fall!

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Theresa Kim

Email: tykim@u.washington.edu

Statement: I'm currently a graduate student in biostatistics at the University of Washington. If ever you thought of medical school but thought you'd miss math and/or wanted to do more research, look into this field. My RA is really interesting. I'm working with a group at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center that analyzes HIV/AIDS vaccines for a company in California. Other projects at my RA look at HIV/AIDS prevention in China and Africa. If you would like to mix cancer research, HIV/AIDS research, genetics research, or any element of public health/medcine with statistics, this is for you. Also, this might seem like it's going against studying math for a while, but since I was French minor, I went JYA. Keep in mind that French, English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Arabic are some of the most widely spoken languages on the planet. A degree in biostatistics with multilingual skills opens doors for you in international health also.

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Rachel Thomas

Email: thomasr@e-lcds.org

Since graduation, I have been working as a high school math teacher at Lancaster Country Day School, a small independent school in central PA. When I say small, I mean small - we have less than 500 students from Kindergarden through 12th grade. My classes are generally about 10-12 students. I am currently teaching Geometry, Algebra II, Second-year Calculus, and an elective course called "Math for the Social Sciences," which examines voting systems, fair division, growth models, symmetry, and the math of art and architechture. I definitely use what I learned at BMC every single day. Not just the actual math I learned (which I do actually use - I even taught a seminar on Knot Theory last year!), but also the teaching skills I gleaned from interacting with talented educators every day. Bryn Mawr taught me a lot about math and a lot about life; even though I didn't realize it at first, I was completely prepared to enter the classroom, and I love what I do!

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Class of 2000

Kendra Burbank


In 2000-2001, I'll be working at the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (National Institute for Nuclear Physics), in Pisa, Italy. I'll be working with a group that is currently building a silicon detector for the CDF project at Fermilab. In the Fall of 2001, I'll begin graduate studies in string theory at Harvard University.

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Jennifer Faerber


Next year, I will be working as a programmer/research assistant at Mathematica Inc., in Princeton, NJ. The company does social science policy research on issues such as health, nutrition, welfare and family etc. Programmers/Research assistants get set up with several researchers, allinvolved with individual projects, and perform statistical analyses on their projects, after going through a training phase. The job is more quanitative, but there is some exposure to the qualitative aspects of theresearch depending on how much the researcher wants to involve the programmer/research assistant.

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Jennifer Fisher

Email: jennifer.fisher@gs.com

I spent my first two years after graduating from Bryn Mawr in the fixed income division of Goldman Sachs. I was specifically in the finance area of the mortgage department where I spent my time building models in excel and access to help price asset back securities, commercial real estate and distressed asset portfolios. I spent my third year in the executive office, where I had a much more qualitative job, working with a team to determine which clients need executive office attention and then writing briefers for the top executives before their meetings. I was promoted to Associate after my third year have still been working in the executive office to help initiate a new Government Affairs effort.

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Susan Jo


I am teaching middle school math at Episcopal Academy. I teach 7th and 8th grades, so pre-algebra and algebra more specifically. I enjoy working with my students and have a great supportive faculty as well. I have fun teaching math. It has been more challenging this year than the past two because of a particular class, but I know this experience is stretching me and helping me become a better teacher :) Lately I have been thinking of going back to graduate school for a masters in mathematics education, but nothing is set yet.

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Elaina Khenina


I'll be working at The Segal Company in New York City as an actuary.

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Linday Moore


I graduated in 2000 with a double major in math and physics. I have been a graduate student in the physics department at Stanford University getting my PhD in condensed matter physics since summer 2000. My research is about special properties of electrons in quantum dots. I design and make microchips so that I can control the behavior of small numbers of electrons that are confined to 2 dimensions. Some of the work that we do in my group may someday be used for quantum computers because we are able to control the spin and other quantum properties of the electrons in our devices. My math major has been extremely useful to me, partly because math is such an integral part of physics, and also because it allows me to broaden my PhD studies. For example, I can TA classed in the math and physics departments here at Stanford, as well as taking graduate courses in both fields. I also had an edge in my graduate physics classes because a number of my classmates had to learn about group theory, non-linear dynamics and complex analysis for the first time when they got here, whereas I had already taken a course on each of those topics. In case you were wondering, (as I did) BMC prepared me very well for graduate school. I have found the work load at Stanford to be comparable to the work that I was doing my junior and senior years at Bryn Mawr with a double major.

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Michiru Nasu


My future employer is Bloomberg L. P. in Princeton NJ. I will be working asa a Research Assistant in the Quality Assuarance Group. Joining in this Group will be exciting! The Group was just established last September, so it is very young and new, and I will have tons of opportunities to contribute to their fundamental development!

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Kimberly Rhodes


I will be working at the Mathworks in Natick, MA. My title is Technical support engineer.

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Yuka Tamura


I will be working in San Francisco (Paolo Alto), Califonia. I will be an investment banking analyst in the technology group of Saloman Smith Barney, mainly doing IPOs for Tech companies.

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Class of 1999

Jocelyn Arcari

Email: j_arcari@hotmail.com

I am currently pursuing my MBA at Cornell University. I would like to start a career in operations management in the pharmaceutical industry when I graduate in May 2004. I just finished my first semester at Cornell and found that my math degree made it much easier for me to handle several of the classes, including Statistics, Microeconomics and Finance. I would suggest that students try to take one of these courses during undergrad to get a flavor for more uses of mathematics in the business world. Before returning to school, I was working for Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) in their consulting group in the NY metro area. While there, I worked with several companies in different industries (financial services, textiles, pharmaceuticals, health care). I also was able to use my math background to do computer programming on one of my projects. My work at CSC sparked my interest in the pharmaceutical industry and helped me determine that I would like to try my hand at working in supply chain or operations management. Consulting provides a great opportunity to work with different businesses and learn about different industries, and consulting firms usually have really good training programs. It was a great choice for me because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do when I was graduating from Bryn Mawr. I think the MBA will help me with my next career step. As an aside, you generally need 3+ years of experience before most schools will consider you apply for an MBA.

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Cecilia Diniz

Email: Cdiniz@fireant.ma.utexas.edu

Cecilia is a Ph.D. student in mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Cheryl Koester

Email: ckoester@fcs.pvt.k12.pa.us

I am the full time network administrator at Friends' Central School in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. I administer a local area network that consists of 3 domains on two campuses, encompassing a total of 5 servers, 250 workstations, and 1000 users. I also do not get enough sleep.

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Jessica Ree


Email: jessica.ree@riskmetrics.com
www.riskmetrics.com

I am a research assistant for a small (non-public) company that makes risk management software for banks. My projects are many and varied. I have done a lot of testing of our product CreditManager to assure that the mathematics we present in the technical document has been correctly implemented. I have also done some programming and written some technical documents concerning CreditManager. I love my job! I'm so glad I went this route. (I had been very down on financial jobs in the past.)

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Class of 1998

Hilary Cooke

Email: hilary.cooke@ptsem.edu

I am currently in my first year at Princeton Theological Seminary. I am planning to do a four year joint program with Rutgers, graduating with a Master of Divinity and a Master of Social Work and eventually practice pastoral counseling. I am living proof that you can do anything with a degree in mathematics. You might not believe it but I do actually use my math here:)

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Jamie Fiore

Email: Jamie.fiore@gs.com

I am a second year Associate in the Equities Division of Goldman Sachs, in New York. I work in GSS, or Global Securities Services, where I work in a sales-trading role with Hedge Funds. I would love to hear from any Bryn Mawr students interested in pursuing a career on Wall Street.

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Heather Fleming

Email: Heather.Fleming@alumnae.brynmawr.edu

I'm working on my masters degree in electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, San Diego.

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Zhenjian He

Email: Zhenjian.He@alumnae.brynmawr.edu

Since graduation, I have been working for R&D IT of GlaxoSmithKline, a global healthcare company. I joined GlaxoSmithKline through its Analyst Development Program after I graduated from Bryn Mawr. During the program I worked on various pharmaceutical computer projects, which include new technology evaluations and implementations, object-oriented programming, client server and network engineering, and database systems development. Currently I specialize in data warehousing projects in support of R&D decision making. My area of specialization is not particularly mathematical, but the underlying theoretical foundation for data modeling is comprised of set theory, relational algebra and relational calculus. With my math background, it was not difficult for me to pick up the design and modeling techniques that are based on the mathematical theory.

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Corinne McNeely

I had a lot of trouble deciding what to do after college: grad school, teaching, work??? I applied for many jobs and internships after I graduated. In December, I got accepted to the Undergraduate Research Semester program at Sandia National Laboratory. I spent 9 months in sunny Livermore, CA working on Applied Mathematics research. As it turned out, I spent most of my time Java programming. After my internship, I decided I wanted to go back to school for computer science not mathematics. I was accepted into a masters program at Georgia Tech in the fall of 1999. I had to spend an extra year taking remedial undergraduate courses in computer science since I hadn't taken anything past the introductory course at Bryn Mawr. After that, I found a research assistantship performing research in Formal Specification Languages, a wierd mix between computer science theory-and mathematics. I finished my master's project and graduated in May of 2002. Since June of 2002, I've been working for Harris Corporation, a government contractor in Melbourne, FL, as a software engineer. I'm currently working on a project for the FAA.

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Daniel Soltis

Email: DanielRSoltis@gmail.com

I'm currently in grad school at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, studying some hard-to-define interdisciplinary mix of design, engineering, art, computer programming, and social theory. I find that, even when what I'm working with is not directly math-related, that background enhances my ability to understand and manipulate information and to create more sophisticated interactions. (Or so I like to think.)

Prior to that, I spent my first couple of years out of college floundering about, and then I worked for several years (and still work part-time) as a writer and statistician for a small medical instrumentation company, despite the fact that I assiduously avoided statistics classes while in undergrad.

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Jill Wong

Email: jill.wong@alumnae.brynmawr.edu

I am currently employed in the Dispute Analysis and Investigations division of PricewaterhouseCoopers. This type of business integrates consulting with litigation and provides a unique approach to everyday work. With each new engagement, I have had the opportunity to develop and work with different kinds of financial models but also broaden and deepen my knowledge in various industries and product lines.

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Class of 1997

Yoko Adachi

Email: yoyada@hotmail.com

Currently I am working as a programmer in the biostatistics department of a contract research organization(CRO) called Parexel(by the way, I had never heard of the name of the company nor what CROs are when I was in college.) People in my department are either "programmers," or "statisticians." Programmers are people who tabulates analyzed result of an experiment, and if you have a Bachelor's degree in math, computer science, or a related field, you can generally apply for this position. In order to be statisticians, on the other hand, a Master's degree or Ph.D in statistics is usually required. Statisticians formulate the analytical design of a usually required. Statisticians formulate the analytical design of a clinical trial. They typically calculate the sample size required in the study, and determine the method of analysis based on the type of the trial, such as whether you should use a parametric or non-parametric method.

You don't need to have any knowedge of biology or medicine. I think highschool biology and common knowledge on health from newspapers would be sufficient. Furthermore, Parexel decided to hire me even though I did not have a computer science background. The program you need to know if you want a computer related job in the pharmaceutical industry is called SAS, but if you know any computer language, you can pick up SAS language pretty quickly. I used to think that pharmaceuticals and clinical experiments are all about medicine. It's not. There are a lot of career opportunities for people who studied math and/or computer science. You don't necessarily need to have a strong background in applied math in order to find a job either. When I was in college I took mainly pure math courses, hardly any applied math courses. All of you are much more marketable than you think. Actually I was hired in Japan. In a country that is suffering from a serious economic depression and the employment of new college graduate women is about 50%, I was able to find a career oppotunity. This would not have been possible without my degree in math and an ability to speak both English and Japanese. Maybe Bryn Mawr is not the best known school in the country, but keep in mind that the degree in math does have quite an impact on many of the industries.

From January, I will be working in the Parexel office in Japan, completing the training in London. If anyone has a question, please feel free to email me at. The homepage of the company I work for is www.parexel.com, and I believe they have an office in Philly as well.

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Kathleen Dooley


While at Bryn Mawr I not only earned my AB in Mathematics, I also earned my teaching credentials and was certified by the State of Pennsylvania to teach high school math. Before graduation, I was offered a job teaching in Costa Rica. I took it and spent the next three years there. In 2000 I left Cost Rica for Mexico City, lived there for two years, am now living in Shanghai, and plan living on in at least three more countries before moving home. I really enjoy what I do and love having a job that allows me to travel all over the world.

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Elizabeth Ferry

Email: elizabethferry@earthlink.net

I received my diploma in nursing in 1987. I then worked in intensive care units at various hospitals. I entered Bryn Mawr College in 1992. I graduated with a bachelor's in mathematics in 1997 (continuing to work in a surgical trauma unit at Hahnemann University). I entered Wake Forest University in 1997 and graduated in 1999 with a master's in mathematics.

I have been job searching since September. I am looking for a position in a pharmaceutical or biotech company. I am still working as a nurse too.

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Jessica Hope

Email: JSH11A@aol.com

I was a math major, as you know... officially a member of the class of '97. I finished my coursework a semester early in December of '96 because I wanted to get a running start in my career. As it turned out, launching a career was not as easy as I had anticipated! My original plan when I began my Bryn Mawr education was to teach. So, I was a part of Bryn Mawr's teacher certification program, and graduated with both a B.A. in Mathematics and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania secondary teaching certification in mathematics.

Teaching jobs in the Philadelphia area were harder to come by than I had anticipated, even in the field of mathematics. The market was flooded! I was strongly rooted to this area, and did not want to move elsewhere. So, I worked for about 6 months at various non-exciting jobs such as temporary administrative work, substitute teaching, and tutoring math at a for-profit learning center. None of these positions was spectacular, but I was gaining valuable experience. My first real break came when I was hired by Harcum College --- in two different capacities. First, I was a math tutor in the AIM for Success program at Harcum. This program is a grant-funded program that provides educational support to under-prepared college students. Simultaneously, I worked as a math teacher for the Upward Bound program at Harcum. This program, also grant-funded, provides underprivileged high school students with the resources necessary to attend college and to succeed. I was able to take on additional responsibilities during my two-year tenure at Harcum, eventually earning the title of Learningeaching a science course, Fundamentals of Physical Science. During this time at Harcum College, my interest in the fields of finance and investing was growing. I left Harcum to accept a position in a small investment management firm. I worked in an administrative capacity, gaining knowledge about the field both on-the-job and through my own research and study.

After several months with this firm, I began the process of obtaining my securities and insurance licenses. I currently am a registered representative (a.k.a. stockbroker), and am also a licensed life and health insurance agent. I currently run my own financial planning practice through American Express Financial Advisors. I experience a high degree of job-satisfaction and am quite pleased with my career path to date and the place to which my Bryn Mawr degree has brought me.

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Benna Lehrer


OK, a description of what I've been up to. It's not very mathematically related, but there is a bit of a connection. After BMC I worked as a paralegal at an international law firm in Kazakhstan. After a year, I decided to go to law school (because I really wanted to make money)--I went to UCONN Law. During law school, however, I became really disenchanted with the amount of people in the law field that JUST care about earning money. I also started working in the public policy field--at the Connecticut Law Revision Commission, a legislative office that conducts study committees and research which culminates in revisions and new bills. I have decided that my career must focus on helping others--no matter what capacity. I have since graduated, and moved to Chicago. I am presently working for Women Employed, a non-profit that advocates for and researches womens issues to create more equity and encourages education, training, and better jobs for lower income women. I'm only here until March, so I'm looking for something that will bring me a little back to my roots-- Russia. I would like to get involved either diplomatically or within corporations to coordinate corporation efforts to NOT participate i

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Vidya Murthy


I am class of 1997. As you know, I majored in Math. I also minored in Economics.

My first job after Bryn Mawr was at a nonprofit -- I basically did market research, competitor analysis, and financial management for them. Then I moved to San Francisco and got a job at a small software company. I did a variety of things there, including QA, client consulting and installations, technical support and release planning. I left that job last year to go back to school to get my MBA. I am currently a first year MBA student at the Graduate School of Management at UC Davis. I am planning to concentrate in Finance and Strategic Management.

I don't think I directly used anything I learned in school in my jobs, but I think I excelled because of the thought processes I learned in school and the analytical skills I gained.

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Rachel E. Vincent

Rice University
Department of Computational & Applied Mathematics
Email: Rvincen@caam.rice.edu

I am responding to your letter concerning BMC Department of Mathematics alumnae. You may post my contact informationon the BMC Math website. I am currently a graduate student in the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University. I began my work here in September 1997.

The Department of Computational & Applied Mathematics of Rice University is highly rated among applied mathematics graduate programs. The professors are well known in there areas of expertise and are usually very approachable and helpful mentors and advisors. The department specialties include partial differential equations (in many flavors), numerical linear algebra, operations research, and optimization. You can visit the CAAM research web page to read more about what types of things the professors and are doing here at Rice http://www.caam.rice.edu/caam/caam-research.html

This is a small department, so graduate classes are small and you have a easy access to professors. There are a good number of research options available here and opportunities to collaborate with professors in other departments.

I am a part of the Keck Computational Biology Predoctoral program. The work I am beginning will use a numerical linear algebra technique to assist in structure determination of proteins. I have an advisor in my department, Dr. Dan Sorensen, and an advisor in the Biochemistry Department, Dr. George Phillips. So there is also the possibility of expanding work beyond this department. This is expected given that this is an applied program.

My project focuses on the visualization of the complex trajectories that result from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. We will develop Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) analysis of the computed trajectories to augment abilities to identify preferred molecular configurations and study periodic behavior.

The proposed work is to fully develop this approach into working software tool for MD simulation, analysis and visualization. The interactive graphical analysis tool we (my advisors and I) intend to develop is expected to allow a user to query the MD data base.

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Class of 1996

Jyotsna Advani

Email: Jyotsna.Advani@alumnae.brynmawr.edu

Greetings! I double-majored in Math & Computer Science at Bryn Mawr, with some overlap in courses between the two majors. I decided to immediately continue on with graduate school in Computer Science, at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Two years later, after obtaining my M.S. in Computer Science, I moved to Boston to work in the Consulting division of a firm in the supply-chain industry, called i2 Technologies (www.i2.com). After exploring that career path, I realized I wanted to do something more in sync with my computer science background. I am now working at Akamai Technologies (www.akamai.com) in Cambridge, MA, in the IT department. My current role involves web development, more from the technical, back-end data perspective. Additionally, my interest lies in the non-profit sector, and in my spare time I work on a non-profit development organization that I have helped start recently, The LittleHut Foundation (www.littlehut.org). So all in all, a wealth of opportunities lie ahead, depending on your interest! Please feel free to contact me with any questions (or just to chat) via email.

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Jennifer J. Blechar

Email: jennifjb@ifi.uio.no

I graduated BMC with a major in Mathematics, concentration in Computer Science and minor in Economics. As with many graduates, I was not quite certain what career I wanted to pursue upon graduation. Using the BMC Career Development office, I attended several information sessions and applied to jobs in a variety of industries. In the end, I decided to pursue a career in consulting and accepted an offer with Accenture (formerly known as Andersen Consulting).

I worked in the telecommunications industry within Accenture for six years and was primarily engaged in large scale systems implementations in major telecom firms. In 2002, I decided to continue my education and obtained an MSc in Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems from the London School of Economics and Political Science (http://www.lse.ac.uk/). This was a fantastic program that combined both the skills I learned while at Bryn Mawr as well as the experience I gained while working as a consultant. I completed my MSc in 2003 and am currently a PhD student and research fellow in the Department of Informatics at the University of Oslo in Norway (http://www.uio.no/).

I would be happy to discuss any of the above with those interested!

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Karyn Folland

Email: kfolland@owc.com

When I was a senior (I actually did both Math and Physics), I was interested in the financial services industry, as well as consulting. Financial services sounded appealing to me (though I don't really know why), so I applied for many jobs in investment banking, accounting, equity research, etc. The nature of the work of a consultant, as well as the lifestyle, also sounded very appealing, so I applied to a number of consultancies as well. Oliver, Wyman seemed to be the perfect intersection of my two interests, as it is a strategy consulting company that specializes in the financial services industry.

I first heard of OWC because they participated in the 4 college consortium recruiting effort in New York (along with Haverford, Vassar, and Union). However, due to the disappointing turnout of resumes we've had in the last couple of years, HR has decided that it is not worth our time to continue participating in this effort. Therefore, if Mawrters or Fords are interested in Oliver, Wyman, they should submit their resumes either directly to me, or to our recruiter - Ronna Hermann. I would be happy to talk to anyone interested in pursuing consulting either at Oliver, Wyman or at other firms.

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Louisa (Winer) Tran

Email: louisa.tran@fcps.edu

I certainly did not follow a direct career path after graduating from Bryn Mawr! I now teach high school math and computer science, via an unpredictable route that started with a master's degree in math (from Northwestern), followed by a job in research for the advertising industry, temporary secretarial work, and running an after-school reading program for 1st-graders.

My math degrees have turned out to be quite valuable. While I learned quickly that I did not want to pursue a career in advertising, I feel that having "mathematics major" on my resume opened the door to that industry for me. When I decided to give teaching a try, it turned out that having a math major was better than having an education degree. It has been easy enough to make up the education classes, but colleagues who were education majors have to make up courses like Abstract Algebra!

I actually teach more computer science than math right now, but at the AP level there is a lot of overlap. There is so much to learn in both of these fields - for me, too, not just my students! I have gotten real satisfaction out of hearing some of my students declare, "I want to major in math [or CS] in college." I'm also thrilled that one of my best (and favorite) students is applying to Bryn Mawr!

I would love to talk to any math major who is considering (in even the most hypothetical way) teaching. If she lives in the DC metro area, she could shadow me to see what a typical day is like.

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Class of 1995
Rebecca Buchanan

I graduated from Bryn Mawr in 1995 with no clear idea about what to do with my math degree; I did not want to go to grad school in pure math and had no interest in finance or business. I thought education would be a good career, so got a M.S. in mathematics education from Syracuse University and taught in the math department at West Chester University (West Chester, PA) for two years. By that time I had decided that I really did not want to teach after all, and looked around for something else to do. I wanted to get back into doing math, not just teaching low level algebra and geometry. I also wanted to apply my quantitative skills to a good cause, so looked for a grad program that combined math with environmental issues/ecology. What I found was the interdisciplinary graduate program Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management (aka QERM) at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. I am now in my fourth year of a Ph.D. program in QERM, and I highly recommend it.

As far as I know, QERM is a unique program in that it offers opportunities to use both statistics and applied math to study ecological systems and resource management issues; other grad programs seem to focus on one method or the other. Although its name may indicate that a lot of science knowledge is required, QERM is really very quantitative, and math majors are usually better prepared for QERM than biology majors. That said, it helps to have taken a biology/ecology class or two at the college level since the only required courses in QERM are quantitative. The math skills required are calculus, probability and statistics, differential equations, linear algebra, and some computer programming. However, as long as your basic linear algebra and calculus skills are good (at the level of Calc II) and you are a strong analytical thinker, you should do fine in QERM. QERM offers both a master's and a doctorate. Both are research-based, and how long they take depends the student. Most students are funded via research assistantships; some get teaching assistantships. Student research areas vary, but include novel methods of estimating salmon run sizes and population sizes of salmon, whales, and elk; studying population dynamics of sharks; developing and analyzing new environmental sampling methods; analyzing precipitation data; modeling shoot growth in Douglas fir; and estimating tree crown density as part of estimating fuel supplies for forest fires. I am developing mark-recapture models for adult salmon migrating up the Columbia and Snake rivers past the hydroelectric dams. My models use two types of tags (radio tags and PIT tags) and focus on survival but include other processes as well.

There is a high demand in natural resource management fields for QERM graduates or anybody with strong quantitative skills. At UW, "natural resource management" typically means fisheries or forestry, but every natural resource has to be managed, so graduates may work in other fields. Many graduates go on to work for a regulatory agency such as NOAA, EPA, or a state Fish and Wildlife Department; some do environmental consulting, and some teach at the university level. Every graduate who has looked for a job in this field has found one. I highly recommend this field (and graduate program) for math students who want to develop both their analytical skills and quantitative tools to study natural systems and/or resource management issues. For more information about QERM, visit their website at http://depts.washington.edu/qerm/; I would be happy to discuss QERM with any student who is interested. UW also has a strong program in biostatistics for students interested in combining statistics with human health; their website is at http://www.biostat.washington.edu/.

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Laura McKinney Novak

Email: Laura.mckinney@yale.edu

I am currently in my fifth year of the doctoral program in Statistics at Yale University. My dissertation, which I'm hoping to finish within the year, has to do with modeling NYSE stock returns.

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Class of 1994

Deborah Cousins


I am currently working for CODA Research Inc. http://www.codares.com, Inc. in Durham, NC. The NC company provides research support for the epidemiology branch of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. My title is "Senior Study Supervisor", but I am also a "Programmer/Analyst". It depends what the client needs since I am trained in both epidemiology and SAS programming (a great match). I have mainly been working on a Uterine Fibroids Study. Since I am also an analyst, I use mathematics (statistics really) almost everyday. Of course programming requires logic, which is somethingthat I learned in my mathematics courses at Bryn Mawr. Haven't had use for Abstract Algebra or Number Theory yet, but if it is possible I am sure I will find a way to use it. You never know!

Since graduation in 1994: I received a MSPH from the Department of Epidemiology at UNC Chapel Hill, NC in 1997. I am technically still enrolled in the Ph.D. program. I completed my coursework for the Ph.D. in 1998 and took a leave of absence. (It has been hard to go back -- Since taking leave of absence,as I have acquired a house and family.) I also worked as an Associate Epidemiologist for Family Health International during 1998 and 1999. At that time, I developed questionnaires and studies related to infectious disease and female reproductive health.

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A. Heather Coyne

Email: ahcoyne@erols.com

I ultimately graduated with only a math minor--my major was political science. After a year interning in DC with a public policy think tank, I went to grad school at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. The math for an international relations degree is pretty minimal, although we used some in our economics classes. I am currently working for the White House Office of Management and Budget in the National Security Division, and pretty much the most advanced math I do is addition! However, many of my collegues delve more deeply into the quantitative aspects of their programs, so I guess it's possible that a math major could flourish here.

OMB jobs require a graduate degree. As I'm sure many BMC students are finding, a graduate degree is becoming a pre-req for more and more jobs. And once students get into a graduate program, I do have a tip for them. I got my job through the Presidential Management Internship program, which takes graduate students who have a committment to public service and places them in a two year position with the Federal Government. During those two years, they complete rotations in their agencies and throughout government and get career development training. After the two year term, they convert to permanent positions in the government. It is a great program if you are interested in government. Originally, the program was geared to public policy students, but it has now reached out to graduates of engineering, physics, and other science programs as well, and places people at NSF, NIST, NASA, NOAA, and a variety of other agencies that might be of interest to a math major.

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Elisabeth (Lisa) Mennella Pyle

Email: elisabethpyle@comcast.net

I graduated in May 1994 with a math and physics degree. Upon graduating, I worked for a small marketing company in media as a statistician. A couple of years later, I switched industries and took a position as a biostatistical associate at Astra Merck, a pharmaceutical company. Here I had a variety of responsibilities including statistical analysis and programming, systems support for new application development and SOP development. I currently work for Merck & Co as a statistical programmer supporting the biostatistics department. During my career at Astra Merck, I decided to pursue a master's degree in statistics at Temple University and as a result, I received my masters in February 2002. I do not use mathematics everyday, but every now and then I am asked to verify analyses and consequently, I find myself referring to my mathematical knowledge.

If anyone is interested in learning more about a career in pharmaceuticals or statistics, I can provide more information.

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Rebecca Segal

Email: rsegal@ciit.org

After graduating from Bryn Mawr, I went to graduate school in mathematics at North Carolina State University. I received my Ph.D. In 2001 in applied math and I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at CIIT Centers for Health Research in Research Triangle Park, NC (www.ciit.org). The company that I work for is a not-for-profittoxicology company. They were founded by a consortium of chemical companies in the 1980's to do independent research on the toxicity of the chemicals produced by the companies. As a mathematician, I use computational fluid dynamics software to model airflow in the nose. I then use the results to predict gas uptake and particle deposition patterns in the nasal passages. This information is then given to a toxicologist who works on calculating the effects of the chemical and can determine the dose I predict is hazardous or not. We also have outside funding to do pharmaceutical research, looking into the development of more effective nasal spray devices. Currently, I don't use too much of the math from my courses, although I do need to understand the algorithms and methods that are contained in the program I use. My postdoc is up at the end of the summer and I'm hoping to find a job in the pharmaceutical industry. This type of a position could lend itself to more direct use of mathematics, but I'll have to wait and see.

I'd be happy for any current students to contact me. I'd be happy to answer questions about graduate school and life afterwards. The majority of my friends from grad school went into industry positions so I have a fair knowledge of different positions and work environments.

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Class of 1993
Linda Cherkassky

Email: lmc@dovetailconcepts.com

My story may make for a bleak outlook regarding the realm ofpossibilities for math majors, but here goes. I majored in math because I liked math, pure and simple. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I knew I did not want to teach or to work in the actuarial sciences. Upon leaving BMC, I applied for a few (what I thought to be) related jobs in finances, accounting, etc., but had no success. Apparently, these folks could not appreciate that I had the ability and intelligence to take on the work and I needed a degree in the specific subject of finance or accounting, etc.

Over the summers in college I worked as a bank teller and wound up continuing to do that after college part-time (and one certainly does not need a math degree for that type of work) until I could figure out what I wanted to do. I eventually got a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania and worked for some time in the field of addiction.

As of the year 2000, I have not been actively pursuing social work either. Since then, my husband and I had started a software design and development company (his Ph.D. is in Computer and Information Science). Although I am a full time employee and part owner of our company, much of my time and all of my passion has turned toward the environment.

I am a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator for a facility in New Jersey. I also conduct shorebird surveys to track the migration of species that are in decline. I occasionally band birds and also socialize and adopt out feral cats.

First and foremost, I am an advocate. That part of me developed at Bryn Mawr and those for whom I advocate has changed over the years from women, to families experiencing substance abuse, and most recently, wildlife and the environment. The two things my math degree did for me were a) instill a sense of accomplishment and b) enhance my analytical abilities.

I may not be able to reduce a matrix to save my life at this point (been a long time since I opened a math book), but I encourage the women of BMC to pursue whatever makes them happy and maybe have a better sense of direction than I did. Of course, that may make the journey a little more boring!

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Reena Freedman


I was a math major in the class of '93, although my love of Physics kept me down the hall for those late night study sessions! Following the advice of my thesis advisor, Rhonda Hughes, I continued my studies in graduate school and received a Masters degree from the University of Maryland. After some time living abroad, I finally pursued my lifetime love for teaching. I have been teaching for 5 years and am now the Head of the Mathematics Department at Gann Academy, a jewish day school in Boston. I also serve as the Director of Faculty Development. Aside from training new teachers and developing the math curriculum and activities at this fairly new school (6 years old), I teach the full range of classes but prefer Calculus and Geometry.

I would be happy to advise anyone interested in a teaching career. It is a time and energy-consuming job during the first couple of years, but it gradually lessens with time as you find the right balance. The first year is particularly difficult, and I generally recommend staying for at least the second year before making any changes - it takes that long to reap the benefits of all the work during the first year, both in terms of lesson planning and in terms of the connection built with students in the school. It is very rewarding and a lot of fun to work with teenagers.

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Laura Gellert

Email: lgellert@brearley.org

I have been a mathematics teacher for over 11 years. I would be glad to help in your effort to inform math majors on what are possible job opportunities after college. During my junior and senior year at BMC, I was thinking about the same thing. I applied for a teaching fellowship at Norhtfield Mount Hermon School. I got the fellowship and found teaching to be enjoyable and a great way to share my love of math with others. After college I went to teach math at a private school in New York city. I am now at another private school, The Brearley School in NYC. While teaching math, I also obtained my masters in Mathematics from the Courant institute at New York University thinking that I would go on to teach college math. This might still be a possibility but I am currently more interested in secondary education. As a result of my interest in math education, I have just begun my doctorate in urban education at the City University of New York.

P.S. My husband, also a math major, does financial engineering work. If you would like more information about this I can get it for you.

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Keli Kringel

Email: kkringel@customercast.com

I was a math major in the class of '93. Now I am working in Silicon Valley CA in an internet "start-up" company. The company designs/implements/hosts internet customer satisfaction systems. I'm called a system manager. My job involves working with customers, designing the customized systems, programming them with software we develop in-house, and managing/supporting them. Its very project based and diverse in responsibilities. I also work with development in creating new technologies.

I really love the entreprenurial environment- "cutting edge"- doing things that haven't been done before. It's exciting to see ideas turned into reality so rapidly. I think a background in math is valuable for this position in the ability to think abstractly, conceptually, systematically. That is crucial to creating new systems and understanding the programming and processes involved with a rapidly changing technology. The breadth and emphasis on thinking rather than skills that a Bryn Mawr liberal arts education provides is also very concretely valuable to start-up companies, which are rapidly-changing and bank everything on ideas.

I am a bit too busy to have my e-mail address posted on your site for math majors' questions/dialogue. (I often can't find time to respond to e-mails of friends and family). But feel free to contact me if there's anything else I can do or answer for you.

My company is currently recruiting HEAVILY for system managers, and we would love to hire BMC math majors. We currently only have system managers in our office in Mountain View, CA. (We have recently added a NYC office, but there are no System Managers there yet.) On the careers page (http://www.customercast.com), under About Us link on our site, there are descriptions of the positions we are hiring for. Anyone interested could send their resume to my email address.

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Robbee Tonubbee


Currently I am teaching 7-12 grade Mathematics at Calera Jr/Sr High School in Calera, OK. I teach everything from 7th grade math to Trig...with AP Calculus to be added in 2004. I am also working on a Masters of Education with a focus in Mathematics at the local college, Southeastern Oklahoma State University. I am the Student Council sponsor as well as the head of the math portion of a program called GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for college.) I am enjoying things and love teaching. This is my 2nd year at Calera and before that I worked for 2 years in an elementary school. You can view my class webpage, student council webpage, and GEAR UP page at: www.caleraisd.k12.ok.us (click on teachers & then my name for class page, click on organizations then high school student council for that page, then for the GEAR UP page you need to click on the local GEAR UP program for the last page.)

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Class of 1992

Katie Kerr


After Bryn Mawr, I attended graduate school at UCLA where I received an M.A. in Mathematics and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Statistics. I became very interested in statistical genetics while in graduate school, so I decided to do a post-doc in the field. I spent two years in a biology lab, The Jackson Laboratory, in Bar Harbor Maine, developing methodology for gene expression data. Although I had never planned to have an academic career, I decided that a university setting offered the best opportunity to pursue my research interests. In 2001 I joined the faculty of the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Washington in Seattle as an Assistant Professor. I am now fully entrenched in the exciting world of genomics and bioinformatics (whatever that is). The education I received at Bryn Mawr provided a solid foundation for my career. On the other hand, it is unfortunate how little I knew of the world beyond pure mathematics when I was an undergraduate. I would encourage Bryn Mawr students who love mathematics to pursue the major, and to also take the time to educate themselves on the expanded opportunities to do mathematical work beyond the most traditional.

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Abigail Kay


After graduation, I stayed on at BMC and got my masters (Helen Grundman was my advisor). After that I decided I wanted to go to med school so I went to the UPenn post-bac program at night and taught math a Widener and Drexel during the day. I went to Robert Wood Johnson Medical school in New Jersey. I graduated in 2001 and then went to Thomas Jefferson for a residency in Psychiatry (where I am currently a second year). One interesting note - while I was a medical student a visiting lecturer asked if anyone had majored in math b/c math majors make the best doctors.

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Class of 1990

Carol Quick

Email:quick@ebri.org

The Employee Benefit Research Institute was founded in 1978. Its mission is to contribute to, to encourage, and to enhance the development of sound employee benefit programs and sound public policy through objective research and education. EBRI is the only private, nonprofit, nonpartisan, Washington, DC-based organization committed exclusively to public policy research and education on economic security and employee benefit issues. EBRI's membership includes a cross-section of pension funds, businesses, trade associations, labor unions, health care providers and insurers, government organizations, and service firms.

I joined EBRI as a research analyst in 1997. At EBRI, my work focuses primarily on analysis of participant behavior in self-directed retirement plans. I have extensive experience collecting and analyzing data on private-sector pension plans, including hybrid and defined contribution plans, and I have studied various federal budget issues. I am a coauthor of the EBRI issue brief "401(k) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balance, and Loan Activity in 1998" (February 2000) and author of the EBRI Notes article "An Overview of Cash Balance Plans" (July 1999).

I previously worked as a researcher/analyst at the U.S. General Accounting Office, the Office of Management and Budget, the National Center for Charitable Statistics (a nonprofit research organization), and as a systems engineer/technical associate at Electronic Data Systems, Corp. I have a BA in mathematics from Bryn Mawr College (1990) and a Master of Public Policy from the Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University (1997).

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Sharon Winer

New York Times Company
Phone: 212-556-1870
Email: winersh@nytimes.com

I don't think I can help much with regards to higher education. I can definitely say that the Math Major got me my first job, in banking, and it did help me get into graduate school for economics, although I did not pursue that direction in the end. I am currently in the Treasury of The New York Times Company, but no, I don't have anything to do with the journalists. Let me see - in chronological order:

  1. Bryn Mawr
  2. Banking
  3. Economics grad school
  4. Business school
  5. Public policy analyst (briefly)
  6. Finance department at multinational
  7. Finance department at another multinational

I think that in all of those cases, the mathematics degree absolutely helped to open the door, and certainly helped me once I was in. Whether a physics or economics degree would have helped just as much is open to discussion. I have hired a few people, and have always looked for analytical ability and an Ability to understand numerical nuances. Math certainly helps that, but you do run into people with those abilities who really cannot move past abstraction into the reality of a given situation; since math can be very very abstract, that tendency can be reinforced. It really will depend on the person's personality sorry I can't be more specific.

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Class of 1989
Rhonda Hellman

Email: Rhonda.hellman@ey.com

I graduated from BMC with a math degree in 1989. I worked for eight years for CIGNA as a actuary in Philadelphia. CIGNA Property and Casualty no longer exists and is now ACE Property and Casualty. I worked for 6 months for CNA Insurance Company in New York City as an actuary. I am currently employed by Ernst & Young LLP (consulting firm) as a Property and Casualty actuary. I am not lettered (meaning I am only halfway through the exam process to be a lettered "official" actuary).

I am a property and casualty actuary but other actuarial career tracks exist - Life, Health and Pension. The actuarial profession can be used a springboard into upper management (usually insurance companies) or underwriting and brokering for insurance risks.

Plus: GREAT MONEY! Promotions usually based on exam progress (less of a glass ceiling for women).

Minus: EXAMS!!!! Very time intensive - you will be expected to put in between 250-400 hours of study every six months for these exams (more is you fail routinely). Keeping your job and being promoted in your job can be exclusively linked to exam progress. Exams are not "Bryn Mawr Exams" - i.e. they are not there to test your knowledge and ability of a subject. Rather exams are in place to limit the numbers of lettered actuaries so lettered actuaries remain in demand. Exams will test on obsolete subjects and unimportant facts. This can be frustrating.

Also, while I was hired with no exams, those days are gone. To get your foot in the door and an interview, you need at least one exam. All Actuarial tracks use the same first two exams. Please consider taking and passing an exam while in college. The SOA (Society of Actuaries - {Life Actuaries}) administers these exams and there is a reduced fee for students. The SOA web site and the CAS (Casualty Actuarial Web Site) have exam info (applications, schedules and syllabi). The CAS web site also has general information about what an actuary does. Additionally, on a local level, Temple University does offer some Actuarial Science courses - they could help on the later exams.

Coursework to take if you would like to become an actuary: Calculus (up to multi-variable), Linear Algebra, Probability, Statistics, Macro and Micro Economics, Computer Science.

It is definitely not necessary to be a math major to be an actuary, I have known chemistry majors, physics, computer science, English, philosophy majors to have very successful actuarial careers - you just need to be able to do some calculus, stats and probability.

The three web sites I would recommend are:
www.BeAnActuary.org- General site about being an actuary
www.SOA.org- Life Actuaries web site
www.casact.org - Casualty Actuaries web site

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Class of 1988

Moira McDermott

Email: mmcdermo@gac.edu

I am an associate professor at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. After I graduated, I worked for two years at Stern Stewart and Assoc., a small financial consulting firm in New York. I did my graduate work at University of Michigan under the direction of Mel Hochster. I had a two-year visiting position at Bowdoin College in Maine before starting a tenure-track position at Gustavus.

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Class of 1987

Dr. Annalisa Crannell

Department of Mathematics & Computer Science
Franklin & Marshall College
http://edisk.fandm.edu/annalisa.crannell/

I started graduate school at Harvard, which was a cultural shock for a lot of reasons. For one thing, there were 50 graduate students there, of whom only 3 were women! There wasn't a lot of mentoring and I got lost really quickly. So within a semester I transferred to Brown University.

I LOVED Brown, which was a very humanitarian place for all of its graduate students, both men and women. The graduate students have the basement of the math department all to ourselves, so we could hang out together and support each other through the tough times.

I couldn't decide whether I wanted to work in topology or in differential equations, so I asked a professor from each field to work with me until I made up my mind, and to my delight, they agreed. I learned a lot of both subjects before I decided that I liked differential equations more.

I wrote my dissertation on wave equations (my advisor was Walter Craig). But as soon as I graduated, I switched into Dynamical Systems (Chaos theory), which is a lot newer as a field, and consequently a lot easier to work on with undergraduates. If you check out the February issue of the College Math Journal, you'll get to see a paper I wrote with one of my students -- or more aptly said, a paper one of my students wrote with a little bit of helpf from me.

I started at Franklin & Marshall immediately after graduating from Brown, and I'm still here today. I love being back at a small liberal arts college, and this place was my first choice.

I've done a lot of committee work which has focused on jobs in mathematics; most of this work is with the American Mathematical Society. (If you check out the AMS bookstore, you'll find copies of a book I co-edited, and also of a video I made). Lately, I'm working more on setting up good talks for mathematicians. I'm the Vice President of EPADEL -- that's our local section of the MAA. My job is to choose and invite speakers for the meetings we have every spring and fall. I'm also on the AMS short course committee, and for that I'm supposed to help pick speakers and design a program for just before the Joint Meetings in January.

I have a lot of information about the courses I'm teaching and the research that I do on my web page (see address above).

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Class of 1986

Rebecca Earle

Email: R.Earle@Warwick.ac.uk

I certainly remember the math dept as it was in the early 1980s with great fondness. I have moved very far away from mathematics in the intervening years. Indeed, my husband, himself a mathematician, and about the closest I get to the subject these days, claims that he has never met anyone who had forgotten as much maths as quickly as I had. After I completed my undergraduate degree at Bryn Mawr, I went to England for what I thought would be 2 years, in order to complete a masters in math (or 'maths', as it's called here).

After finishing the masters, I decided that I had had enough of it. Basically, I think I reached the limit of my ability. Who knows. Anyway, I decided to do a masters in history, and then did a doctorate, also in history. I now have a permanant position in the history dept of the University of Warwick, which, I will say as modestly as I can, is one of the best history depts in the UK. So I am pretty happy with what I'm doing now, but I don't think my career path is any model for future generations!

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Josephine Gia Hinman

Email: Hinmangr@aol.com

My maiden name was Cravotta. I am proud to say that I have continued educating people in the field of Mathematics since graduation. I left BMC and went straight into a graduate program at University of Maryland in Mathematics, but I left after the first year. I was very unhappy there socially but in addition I was told by a very respected professor that the 60 students I had in classes as a Teaching Assistant should have less then 10 hours of my time per week for planning, teaching, grading and office hours. This was because these students did not matter as they would never contribute to the field of mathematics. I tried to transfer to the Math Ed department that year but the requirements basically made it so I would have to pay university of Maryland for me to teach for a year. This seemed stupid to me so I moved to New Jersey and taught at a catholic junior high and got my state certification through night classes.

You never know where life will take you and at this point I married a man in the military. We moved to Georgia where I taught basic skills at a college. He was sent to Panama the following year so I returned to New Jersey where I taught at a prep school and got my masters in Math Education at Columbia University at night. We then returned to Georgia. I taught one year at another prep school and part time in the evenings at a four year university. I liked the department more at the college so I switched that year to working full time for them for the next two years. I then took 5 years off working, made 3 moves and had two children.

We landed in California in 1997 and I worked part time at a community college in the evenings so my husband could watch the children and I could be home with them during the day. With my son entering second grade and my daughter entering kindergarten, my husband left the military this year. We moved yet again. I secured a position at a very good salary at a magnet high school in New Jersey (The Bergen Academies). I mention this because the circumstances of my life have been about as unpredictable as they come and being a math teacher has been a career that has enabled me to always work no matter where we were. I have always found work easily because I went to great schools. Bryn Mawr has opened countless doors for me. Columbia has opened some others. I was able to take years off and the only suffering my career had was that I was behind on knowing current technology but as a math person they felt I could pick it up quickly. I think one thing Bryn Mawr did not prepare me for was that parenting may be so all consuming your career may not really matter in the same way to you. I want to make a difference. I enjoy my students. But I would trade the best job in the world for anything for my children.

Another aspect of teaching which I love is the flexibility of today. If in a year or two I find I want to be more on my kids schedule (I have an extended school day now) I can always tutor on line or take a part time job. Tell Mawrtyrs to be as flexible as possible. Get as much education up front before you have families as you can.

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Wendy Leisenring, Sc.D.

E-mail: wendy@fhcrc.org

I am a Biostatistician, working at a large cancer research center. For those who don't know, Biostatistics is a field of Statistics for which all the applications are biological, and often, as in my case, related to medical research. I have my doctorate in Biostatistics and, in general, one does need a graduate degree in order to pursue a career in this area, but it doesn't have to be a doctorate - there are plenty of opportunities for Biostatisticians with masters degrees. Graduate programs of biostatistics are usually located in Schools of Public Health at Universities with strong programs of medical research. An undergraduate major in mathematics provides an excellent preparation for a career in Biostatistics. I think it is the perfect career for someone who is quantitative, but who is interested in applying those skills to something related to people, society and other areas of science.

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Cathi Pappas

Email: bkccep@prodigy.net

I majored in math because I liked the subject. I attended law school (NYU) immediately after graduation, joined a large Philadelphia firm and, after 5-6 years, joined the Securities and Exchange Commission as an attorney. Math continues to help me in my way of thinking about problems and issues but I do not use it in its more basic form.

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Class of 1984
Catherine Searle


I graduated in '84, with a double major in math and physics, and I got my PhD in '92 in math from the University of Maryland at College Park. I spent the year after graduation working in the atomic and nuclear physics section at Saclay lab, outside Paris, France, and the next year entered the University of Maryland at College Park (I started off in applied math, but switched to the pure math program almost immediately upon arriving). I ended up specializing in Differential Geometry with Karsten Grove. My thesis was focussed on postively curved manifolds with symmetries. After graduating, I got a job at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Avanzados del IPN (CINVESTAV) in Mexico City, Mexico. My husband is a theoretical physicist (we met at Maryland) and had finished his doctorate 6 months before I did, and received a job offer in the physics department at the CINVESTAV. I visited a few times, and as it turned out, the math department was interested in hiring someone in differential geometry, so I did not have to look for long for a job.

After our first child was born, I decided to move to the UNAM institute of Mathematics in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Cuernavaca is located one hour south of Mexico City. My husband is still working in Mexico City, and is now commuting to work from here. We now have three children, the youngest being 5 months old, and I am back at work. My job here (as at the CINVESTAV) is primarily a research position. We teach at most one course per semester as a favor to the local university (unpaid), and I usually have between 2 and 3 students per class.

Surprisingly enough, I am collaborating at the moment with another Bryn Mawr alum named Jill McGowen. Jill is a professor in the Math Department at Howard University in Washington D.C., who also graduated from Maryland with Karsten Grove at about the same time I did. We are working on calculating diameters of spherical Aleksandrov spaces of low cohomogeneity, as well as better understanding the orbital geometry of such actions. My other research has focussed on group actions on manifolds of strictly positive curvature, and the interplay between the geometry and topology of such spaces.

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Class of 1983

Maria Markakis Zestos, MD

E mail:mzestos@med.wayne.edu

Although I am not practicing mathematics per se, my education in mathematics has helped develop the analytical and abstract side of my brain. This advanced thought process has helped me succeed in what I do, namely pediatric anesthesiology.

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Verena Meiser

Email: Verena@csep0.rmt.utk.edu

Well, I will have to be brief, but would be glad to give you further information! The reason is that I am in law school - first year! And I love it!!! And - this is the good news for math majors - several of my law professors were undergraduate math majors! The analytical skills a math student acquires are very useful for the practice of law. Got to run to class!

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Class of 1980

Susan Hayflick

Email: hayflick@ohsu.edu

I have an MD and am an associate professor of molecular and medical genetics. I see medical genetics patients one day a week and have a molecular genetics laboratory, too. I am a gene hunter at this stage of my research but hope soon to have in hand the genes of interest for further studies. I also teach genetics to medical and graduate students. After BMC, I took one year off to do basic science research before heading off to medical school, as planned. I did a 3 year residency in pediatrics and then 3 years of fellowship training in medical genetics. I was 33 before I had my first real job! I decided to major in math because math was always fun for me and something at which I excelled. I also knew I was headed for medicine and wanted to major in something I would probably never again study. In my math years at Bryn Mawr I learned rigorous thinking and a dimension of creativity that has been invaluable in my work.


And I still have my BMC t-shirt with the character pi stating, "I'm not irrational. I'm a math major."

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Lori Perine

Email: lperine@gmail.com

As of June 2007, I am Vice President of US Government Affairs for Alstom, a French manufacturer of power generation equipment. The positions I've held in my career include (in reverse chronological order): executive director of an industry technology alliance; consultant to the NSF and technical entrepreneurs working with the government; senior technology policy adviser in the Clinton Administration; tech and economic adviser at NIST; project analyst with consulting firm; assistant professor of mathematics at a community college; energy analyst and then consultant at the World Bank. I've used my mathematics in all positions, whether directly in quantitative analyis and applications, or indirectly as a versatile foundation to learn new areas of science and technology (which I then frequently need to translate into policy or business options/strategies for non-technical people). I've found that my mathematical training also helps me reason through and negotiate consensus, which is an essential skill in the government affairs work that I currently do.

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Class of 1979

Marianne Sutton MD, MPH

Email: Dgwatson@massmed.org

I am a pediatrician, chair of a department in a community hospital (Emerson Hospital. Concord, Ma) and director of medical education. I also have a masters in public health, with a major in biostatistics and epidemiology. I work full time, and have three children.

Why did i major in math? I liked math could do proofs and there were no labs! How has my math major helped me? People think that you are smart when you say that you majored in math (fooled them eh?). It has helped me understand biostatistics and epidemiology it taught me rigorous thinking and i can still understand my kids high school math (major scoring point with teenagers!)

But, mostly the math per se has not been very useful at all, I just loved to do it in college and have no regrets, I'd do it again!

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Kate Wilson

http://www.sm.luth.se/~kate

I graduated from Bryn Mawr in 1979 and went to work as a Programmer/Analyst --writing very large FORTRAN programs on a UNIVAC mainframe. I went back to school in 1985, finishing my Master's in Electrical Engineering in 1987. I worked for two years as a Signal Processing Engineer after completing my Master's and then went back to Stanford to work on my Ph.D. concentrating on Digital Communications. I graduated in 1994 and after working in academia for 5 years, I have returned to the Bay Area and am working in industry.

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Class of 1976

Janet O'Sullivan

Email: janetosullivan@eircom.net

I am currently working as a statistical consultant, part-time, at the university here. I started out in graduate school in maths (U of Warwick), but after a year it became apparent that I wouldn't ever get anywhere in the world of academics and pursuing a degree seemed pointless (plus I wasn't working very hard- I was never a great student). I took a 7 year break before I decided to go back to take a few computer programming courses, and from there, based on advice from some friends, I decided to try a course in applied statistics. That was a particularly good course, and it is what caused me to decide on a MA in statistics, as opposed to computer science. (To be honest-it was easier to get into a stat program too). What I liked about applied statistics was the 'finger in every pie' aspect- working as a statistician allows you to consult in every possible field- and part of your job is learning enough about those fields to be of use. On a practical note, it's also been a great field for getting part-time jobs. Statistics can also range from the theoretical to the theoretical/applied and then right down to the basic common sense/applied - jobs are available in all of those areas pretty freely I believe. So- I like statistics- it's really not (all) boring, and I recommend that people consider the possibility.

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Class of 1973

Ragini Joshi

Email: ragini.t.joshi@aero.org

I got a Ph.D. from Columbia in math in 1980. I have been working in various aerospace companies since 1978. I've worked in various areas (satellite guidance, launch support, missile and radar simulations) but much of it involves large computer simulations. I currently work at Aerospace Corp. in El Segundo, Ca., which is a semi-governmental entity. We work very closely with the Air Force on satellite and launch vehicle contracts.

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Class of 1969

Bridget Baird

Email: bbbai@conncoll.edu

Worked and attended Wesleyan grad school in math before entering the math graduate program at State Univ of New York at Buffalo (these were the Vietnam War days and we moved according to my then husband's needs to stay out of the military - eventually he went to med school in Buffalo). Received my PhD- had a job at the Univ of Florida and then here at Connecticut College. I love teaching at a liberal arts college and have been able to pursue many cross-disciplinary interests. I teach both math and computer science and am also head of the Center for Arts and Technology (http://cat.conncoll.edu). My research interests in mathematics are in group theory, particularly trees and enumerating them. My interests in computer science are in virtual reality, music and computer science, and the arts and computer science. My personal page is at http://math.conncoll.edu/faculty/bbaird/index.html.

My partner and I have two children. My community activities focus on education and on women's issues, particularly getting women into math and science.

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Class of 1968

Amy Dickinson

Email: atdickinson@juno.com

I graduated from Bryn Mawr in 1968 and have never really used my math major. I notice, however, that the skills I've used, such as logic and working out of solutions, are what attracted me to math. My first job after Bryn Mawr was with a marketing research firm in New York City. I coded and conducted interviews and analyzed data - just about everything. After two years I moved to Chicago and worked at a bank in the trust department, investment of pension plans area. I then went to law school and after graduating worked for Sears, Roebuck and Co. as an employment practices lawyer for 18 years. I'm now on my fourth career - part-time actress and part-time church secretary. It's fun and all my music talent is being expressed in the church choir and handbell choir.

Also: My fiance works in Information Technology at PNC Mortgage Corp. and says math majors tend to be good in this field.

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Class of 1967

Ann K. Stehney, Ph.D.

Email: stehney@cedarcrest.edu

College administration is my third career. After receiving my doctorate in differential geometry, I was a faculty member at Wellesley College (1971-1983). In addition to teaching and research (in geometry and eventually general relativity), I had a taste of administration as department chair and part-time member of the dean's staff for innovation in curriculum and instruction.

To solve the two-career-family problem, I left Wellesley for a position in applied mathematics, doing cryptology at the Institute for Defense Analyses, a government-sponsored research center (1983-1994). I eventually got back into higher education as the academic dean at Douglass College, Rutgers University (1994-2000), where I taught "on the side" for the Rutgers math department. I began at Cedar Crest this week. While some of my coursework has never found its way into my later life, I like to think that all of my education has been relevant to my career, fromwriting experience (skills and discipline) to exposure to foreign languages (useful to a cryptologist). I never took a course in computer science or statistics, but I have been able to pick them up as needed since my undergraduate days. In all of my administrative work, I have included quantitative studies for program assessment and institutional research. After being away from original research since IDA (where the work was classified and I eventually felt burned out), I have recently become immersed in a project of mathematical modeling. It's joint work with a chemist who works in health physics - my father!

Someone recently remarked to me that mathematicians think they can do anything. My own career would have been smoother if I had acquired people-skills earlier. Even so, it's always been a hoot.

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Class of 1966

Billie (Wilma) Sandler

Email: Ssand1093@aol.com

I am delighted to learn that so many people are becoming math majors!! A far cry from 1966 when I graduated!! I worked at IBM as a systems analyst after I graduated. When I had my sons, I quit to become a stay-at-home mom. I take care of all the finances for my family and for a friend (I'm his administrative assistant). So I'm not using my math background, per se--but I am very logical and use the mathematical reasoning abilities all the time. Math is a wonderful background and basis for many things.

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Professor Sylvia M. Wiegand

Email: swiegand@math.unl.edu

I graduated from BMC in 1966 and then went to grad school at the Universities of Washington (Seattle) and Wisconsin. My Ph.D. was in 1972 in Algebra (Ring Theory) from the Univ. of Wisconsin. Ever since then I've been on the faculty at the Univ. of Nebraska, with some leaves of absence.

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Class of 1964

Roberta Paula Books

Email: RobertaBooks@worldnet.att.net

I am one of the few people who can honestly say that Calculus and the ability to manipulate geometric series have been very useful in the business world. Right now, I have my own company. It finds debt and equity money to permit real estate owners to buy properties. In the past, I have put together some of the first securitization structures for commercial and residential mortgages. In the early to mid-80's, this was a very mathematical endeavor. Today it is still mathematical for residential mortgages, less so for commercial mortgages.

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Class of 1961

Barbara Anne STANFORD Mason

Email: Mason@tah-use.net

First, you need to know that it was in 1961 that I graduated, so things are very different today. I definitely used my math degree in my work though. First, I worked for my parents in a small private school that they ran, teaching math along with some other courses. After that, I continued teaching, first in the elementary school as that was what was available in the area and then in the high school in my home town which is about 40 miles outside of DC. At one point, I started in Harvard's MAT program, but I had applied to learn how to teach the culturally-deprived as I explained on my application and ended up being taught how to teach the top 10% of the prep school students, and that isn't what I wanted, so I withdrew. Then I took some courses about computers (my options in college having been to teach or work with computers, I felt). While waiting for the federal government to hire me as a computer programmer/analyst, I taught math for programmers in the school where I had taken my computer courses. I worked for the Civil Aeronautics Board, writing the programs to produce the IAG(?) International(?) Airline Guide (or whatever that guide is called). I learned a lot there as we all helped each other learn various computer languages, including machine language.

After that, I followed my boss to the Dept. of Labor's Manpower Administration where I worked mainly on the Unemployment Statistics programs, which involved travel to various state offices and trying to help the people from the states if they called with questions. I then went to OSHA, which wasn't computerized at the time. Someone else had reached the point of buying terminals but that was it. I was told that the terminals weren't IBM-compatible, which would have been absurd in those days, as there would be almost no market for them if they couldn't be used with an IBM machine. The Dept. of Labor had a main computer department that insisted on their incompatability. I called some of my friends there and asked them if we could work out something so I could use the terminals. We got together and in 15 minutes it was done. Months later, the head of that department called me in and offered to have his people work on making them compatable for a huge amount of money from OSHA. I told him that we were already using them with his main computer and he told me that it was just luck that it all worked! (I guess I'm saying this to let you know that reason is important as well as refusal to be told something is impossible.)

Actually, before I went to OSHA, Bryn Mawr interviewed me for the job of getting the college computerized. As I understood it, there were 2 final job applicants, and I probably would have had the job as an alumna. However, as I talked with the professors, I realized that half of them wanted to have their own computer and the other half wanted to be connected to the computer owned by the U. Penn and a group of other colleges. Each group was quite adamant, and I could tell that whoever got the job would have many enemies from the half that didn't agree with that person's choice. I always thought it would have been a great job for the second person to hold the job but a horrible one for the first person, so I said that I wasn't interested. The next thing that happened was that I got married and had children and stayed home with them, doing some substitute teaching every so often, which I do even today. I've tutored some math too, including tutoring my husband when he was taking math classes in college such as his calculus course. Also, I home-schooled both my daughters at the high school level for at least some of their high school years (1/2 year in one case; 2 1/2 in the other). I'm really happy being a mother and, now, a grandmother for the first time as of November, but I'm also glad that I had the experiences that I had in the work field. I hope this helps you a little bit.

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