Undergraduate Student ProfilesAug. 26, 2009
Katie Anders and Eric Bunch are recent graduates of the Department of Mathematics. They wrote the following profiles during their time at Baylor. Both are now studying mathematics in graduate school -- Katie at the University of Illinois and Eric at Kansas State University.
I am a mathematics major from Fort Worth, Texas, and if all goes well, I will graduate in May 2009 with a B.S. Degree. Deciding to come to Baylor was largely based on the small class sizes, which give the students a great opportunity to have a relationship with their professors.
As a freshman, I was a physics major, but quickly took up a mathematics major as well. After the math that I was exposed to this past semester and this summer I made the decision to go to graduate school in mathematics, and so have dropped down to a physics minor in order to fit more math classes into my schedule. After graduating from Baylor, I plan on working toward a Ph.D. in mathematics and, after that, a career as a professor.
In the summer of 2007, I took part in a Research Experience for Undergraduates program at Kansas State in Manhattan, Kansas. My research project dealt with a formula for the acceleration of sequences applied to the partial sums of a general Fourier Series. I enjoyed the program because it allowed me to gain research experience and exposed me to many areas of mathematics that were new to me, all of which were extremely interesting.
The strongest part of Baylor's Math Department is the professors. Every math professor that I have taken a class from has been outstanding. They are willing to answer questions outside of class and are personable and approachable. The courses I have taken have all been exceptional and I feel confident in pursuing mathematics further after my years here at Baylor.
I chose Baylor because I wanted to attend a Christian university with a strong academic reputation. I started my studies at Baylor as an undeclared major and began taking math classes. I enjoyed the math classes so much that I kept taking more and eventually decided to major in mathematics. I have also participated in several of the extra-curricular activities offered by the math department, taking the Putnam Exam and serving as the Baylor University Mathematics Society Vice President. After graduating from Baylor, I hope to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics followed by a career in industry or as a professor.
In the summer of 2007, I participated in the Stochastic Modeling in Actuarial Science and Financial Mathematics Research Experience for Undergraduates at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My research project focused on racial differences in life expectancy, and I constructed a model for increasing black life expectancy by reducing infant mortality, homicide, and HIV. The REU provided me the opportunity to gain research experience as well as live and work with students from across the United States and several foreign countries.
My favorite thing about the Baylor Math Department is definitely the faculty. I have enjoyed my classes because all my professors have been excellent teachers. They have been very helpful and always available to answer questions about homework and lecture notes. They have encouraged me as I have applied to REU programs and graduate schools. My courses have been outstanding, and I know that I will be well prepared for graduate study.