By day, Andrea Bruder studies differential equations. By night (and weekends), she studies footholds and crimps. "I just found out that I won the first ever collegiate climbing series in Texas," the doctoral candidate in math says. "I'm a passionate rock climber."
In Hot Pursuit
Before Andrea came to Baylor in 2007, she received her masters degree in mathematics from the Technical University of Munich in 2004. From Germany originally, she came to the U.S. to pursue an advanced degree. "I started my Ph.D. at Utah State University and transferred to Baylor in 2007 when my advisor, Dr. Lance Littlejohn, became the new chair of the math department here," she says.
Her decision meant coming to a new university and city, where even her relationship with her mentor could change. It didn't. "No matter how busy he is as the department chair, he makes time to work with his graduate students," Andrea says. "He's my favorite person to talk to about mathematics, and I'm grateful for all his support and encouragement."
Dissertating on Polynomials
Discussions with Dr. Littlejohn and the rest of her Ph.D. colleagues include orthogonal polynomials, differential equations and spectral theory of differential operators. "In my dissertation, I study the Jacobi polynomials for negative integer parameters and their Sobolev orthogonality," she says.
Andrea says that Baylor has afforded her many opportunities in research, teaching and conferences. "I went to the joint AMS meeting in January and the MAA Mathfest in August last year to give a talk and present posters," she says.
On the Horizon
The dialog, dissertation and conferences become increasingly meaningful as Andrea starts to look at life after school. "I am looking for a postdoctoral position that lets me do research in mathematical physics," she says. "I would welcome a chance to apply analysis in studying topics that are related to quantum mechanics or quantum field theory."
Until then, and even after, she plans to concurrently pursue her second passion, rock climbing. "I spend every free minute climbing the Baylor rock wall," she says. "In a competition at Texas Tech, I placed first in the women's intermediate division and got second in the women's advanced at University of North Texas this spring."