Bio: Hometown: Houston, TX High school: Alief Elsik High School Major: Pure and Applied Mathematics What is your dream job? My dream job is to become a professor at a Research University. Who is someone (teacher, mentor, role model) in mathematics you look up to and why? Edward Witten is a physicist that began his journey a bit later than most into mathematics. Gaining an undergraduate degree in the Arts. This gives me motivation as I am also somewhat of a late bloomer myself. What inspired you to pursue mathematics? Gaining revelations in truths of the world has inspired me to pursue mathematics. From the naturalistic aspect to the hyper focused abstract is of interest to me What is one piece of advice you would give to someone considering a mathematics major? Hold a subject of interest close to your heart. Sometimes finding what you’re interested in is harder than being good at a certain topic. What is one misconception about doing mathematics that you want to break? The misconception that math is never applicable in an ordinary life. Rather I think emphasizing the process is the most important. What’s the best project you’ve ever worked on or really admire in mathematics or STEM? The combine efforts to solve the Twin Prime Conjecture ten years ago is a mathematical collaboration is something I genuinely real admire. It shows how a community can come together to aa common goal even if the problem was not proven but progress was made. What excites you about mathematics? The ability to have many methods of problem solving at my fingertips is very exciting. I also think the interdisciplinary prospect of mathematics is very exciting. How do you use mathematics in your life? I use Mathematics in a more logical thinking manner. Many times I find myself using constructs of reason to make decisions. What do you appreciate about the SURGE program? The SURGE program has really provided me a place to grow without worry as a first-generation student. What is your favorite number and why? 7. No reason. What is the best thing you have read this year? N/A What are you proudest of making this year? I am proudest of making it to graduation this year. Coming in from knowing nothing to being highly knowledgeable has been a blessing as well.
Bio: hometown: Mansfield, TX High School: Lake Ridge High School, Mansfield, TX Major: Mathematics, Statistics concentration Dream Job: Data Analytics, statistician Who is someone (teacher, mentor, role model) in mathematics you look up to and why? I look up to my older brother. He is a financial advisor and has showed me many different tools and ways of looking at math. He is one of the only people who truly loves math like I do! What inspired you to pursue mathematics? I have always loved math and felt confident while doing it. I have always loved using math to be able to solve a problem and help others! What is one piece of advice you would give to someone considering a mathematics major? To not allow one hard problem to stop them. Math is always different and just one math class doesn’t mean math is not for you! There’s always one hard problem that can deter you, but working through it will help you achieve more than you thought! What is one misconception about doing mathematics that you want to break? That all math is the same! Each class is vastly different and they each teach you different skills! What’s the best project you’ve ever worked on or really admire in mathematics or STEM? STEM has so many different options and parts! I admire how much can be used to help those around! You can use the tools and skills you have to be able to change the situation! What excites you about mathematics? What excites me about mathematics is how it’s constantly changing and evolving! there’s always a new way of doing something! If you don’t like how it’s done and there’s another way, do it! How do you use mathematics in your life? Math is used everyday! Every time there is a problem to solve, math can be a very useful tool! What do you appreciate about the SURGE program? The SURGE program has connected me to students that have been where I am! from the very first meeting, I have learned the different paths individuals have taken! I also appreciate the mentorship of the professor to be able to talk through classes and grow a further connection! What is your favorite number and why? My favorite number is 7. I have always loved the number, but i’ve never had a specific reason to love the number! What is the best thing you have read this year? I read a book on personalities that I loved! Learning how each person reacts to situations and how to further help them is fascinating!
Bio: Hometown: Fort Worth, TX High school: L.D. Bell High School Major: Math - Industrial and Applied Who is someone (teacher, mentor, role model) in mathematics you look up to and why? I met a lot of people at UTA that I consider mentors and role models, but Dr. Talon Johnson definitely stands out. He works extremely hard both as a postdoc and as a mentor to me and many other students. Talon is very passionate about getting people interested in math, creating paths to success for math students, and fostering a community of math students who support each other! His new initiative Grad2Undergrad focuses on connecting graduate student(mentors) to undergrads(mentees). What inspired you to pursue mathematics? Coming out of high school, I was unsure what to do in college. Being a math major appealed to me since there are many different career possibilities. It also helped me rekindle my love for math, which I had first discovered during countless hours of competition math in middle school. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone considering a mathematics major? Find ways to use your love for math outside of the classroom - join a club, go to conferences, and meet other mathematicians and hear their stories! Put yourself out there and tons of opportunities will come to you! What is one misconception about doing mathematics that you want to break? Math is extremely collaborative if you want it to be. Having community in math helps solve challenging problems, connects you with friends, mentors, and role models, and creates opportunities for personal growth. Also, math is much more fun in a group than alone! What’s the best project you’ve ever worked on or really admire in mathematics or STEM? I really admire Dr. Trachette Jackson's work at the University of Michigan. Dr. Jackson is a SIAM fellow whose research focuses on Mathematical Oncology. Not only is her research interesting and relevant, but her work also outside of the classroom continues to have a positive impact on the greater math community. What excites you about mathematics? I am excited to collaborate with people from around the world to solve interesting problems. I also want to continue getting people excited about math and research and fighting for better outcomes for math students throughout my career! What do you appreciate about the SURGE program? The most beneficial aspect of the SURGE program is having access to mentor professors. They tend to keep their doors open for SURGE students and are always happy to help us with whatever we're working on. What are you proudest of making this year? The Mathposium! It was a research symposium and social event that took about 2 months of planning, marketing, budgeting, and more, and culminated in a celebration of 17 math and physics research projects currently ongoing at UTA. Some of our notable guests included UTA President Dr. Cowley and many College of Science executives. We are bringing it back with improvements in Fall 2023 and hopefully again in Fall 2024! The Mathposium is a great way for professors to meet potential students, for first year grad students and undergrads to see interesting(and tangible) math research, and provides a path towards mentorship between presenters and attendees.
Bio: Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas High school: Burton Major: Mathematics What inspired you to pursue mathematics? I was inspired to pursue mathematics because I believe math is the fundamental building block for everything, from STEM to our everyday life. Math is incredibly useful and beautiful. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone considering a mathematics major? Give it a try, and you will fall in love with math! What excites you about mathematics? I really enjoy solving math problems. In the beginning, it definitely would be very confusing, but it will become more and more clear when I look at it from other angles. The sense of accomplishment and fulfillment is amazing when the light bulb turns on, and everything falls into place. I have become better at my critical thinking, problem-solving, and logical skills through my study of math. What do you appreciate about the SURGE program? I truly appreciate the SURGE program! It provided me with opportunities to connect with fellow math students and professors, allowing us to share our experience and celebrate everyone's progress and success. What is your favorite number and why? My favorite number is 7.
Bio: Hometown: Arlington Tx High school: Martin High School Major: Math with Econ Minor What is your dream job? Data Analyst Who is someone (teacher, mentor, role model) in mathematics you look up to and why? Clifford Stoll; His dedication and enthusiasm towards math is contagious. What inspired you to pursue mathematics? Youtube channels like Numberphile, 3blue1brown, and Mathologer made complex math feel very accessible even as a high school student and made me want to learn more about math as a whole. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone considering a mathematics major? Don’t think that passing a class is equivalent to understanding what is going on. Thinking like that will come back to bite you What is one misconception about doing mathematics that you want to break? There is no “math brain” everyone has struggled with a math topic at some point What’s the best project you’ve ever worked on or really admire in mathematics or STEM? What excites you about mathematics? The connections between different fields no matter how different they are. How do you use mathematics in your life? Math is a great tool for visualizing things. I use graphs and other analogies to help me explain things to people weather it be my boss or just a friend. What do you appreciate about the SURGE program? The casual conversations with professors, it’s something you don’t usually get in class. What is your favorite number and why? 12, the number of sides on my favorite shape, the dodecahedron What is the best thing you have read this year? Hyperion by Dan Simmons, not math related but a good Sci-Fi book
Bio:: Hometown: Grand Prairie, TX High school: Mansfield Timberview High School Major: Mathematics What is your favorite number and why? My favorite number is 3, because it has always been a lucky number for me throughout my life. What inspired you to pursue mathematics? Ever since middle school, I had always found mathematics to be my favorite subject. Initially entering UTA, I was not a mathematics major, it wasn’t until I completed all my required math courses for my degree at the time, when I realized I wanted to take more. The field of mathematics offers such a wide range of opportunities, which motivated me to pursue this path. What excites you about mathematics? What I enjoy about mathematics is the problem-solving environment it brings. When you have a problem and are able to take it and break it down into smaller parts and find solutions to them, it’s the most rewarding feeling. Mathematics can be found across various fields and can be applied to almost anything. What do you appreciate about the SURGE program? Being in the SURGE program, I genuinely appreciated the networking and connecting opportunities the program provided. Not only do we get valuable mentorship from the faculty, but we also get the chance to get to know the other members within SURGE. It’s reassuring to talk to peers who are in similar positions as you, plus you get to make great friends along the way.
Bio: Hometown: Fort Worth, TX High school: R.L. Paschal High School Major: Mathematics What is your dream job? To work in data analytics and apply machine learning techniques for NASA. What inspired you to pursue mathematics? Before I started college I considered pursuing a math degree, but I ended up starting in Interior Design at UNT. After my sophomore year I missed the joy that math had brought me. I switched my major before I transferred to UTA and it was the best decision I made in my academic career. What’s the best project you’ve ever worked on or really admire in mathematics or STEM? I was invited to work as part of the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholar program and was Project Manager for my group. We were responsible for creating a mock mission to Mars and it was an invaluable experience. What excites you about mathematics? Learning from those that know more than me. I love listening to my professors, grad students, and my peers about what they find interesting in math. Some are concepts that I haven't heard and it inspires me to ask more questions and look for answers. What do you appreciate about the SURGE program? SURGE is the reason why I am able to focus and continue my education. My mentors are extremely supportive and they have such a huge abundance of knowledge and they are so enthusiastic to share opportunities with us. SURGE has truly changed the trajectory of my life and I couldn't be more grateful. What is your favorite number and why? 9! When I was a kid I rode the Titan at Six Flags nine times in a row with my best friend. On that day I decided that was my favorite and lucky number and it has followed me ever since. What are you proudest of making this year? I'm proud that I was welcome again to have another summer internship with the USDA. It was a wonderful experience last summer and I'm so excited to start this summer!
Bio: Hometown: Fort Worth, TX High school: James Martin High School Major: Mathematics What is one piece of advice you would give to someone considering a mathematics major? To never give up! You’ll encounter many challenges academic or otherwise, but it is important to always trust in yourself. Utilize the resources and people around you, because there’s a good chance they’re in the same boat too! How do you use mathematics in your life? Mental arithmetic has proven very useful over the years. Calculating tips and determining discounts saves time, is fun, and easy to do. What do you appreciate about the SURGE program? I personally enjoy the peer connection I’ve made through the SURGE Program. It has been a wonderful opportunity that has introduced me to so many great classmates. I’m always glad to see them around and makes me feel like I have a strong network to rely on. What is your favorite number and why? My favorite number is Euler’s Number, e. I first started to appreciate it while taking Differential Equation with Dr. John Quintanilla at UNT. I really enjoy its relations to growth and its many uses in probability
Bio: Hometown: Fort Worth, TX High school: Amon Carter-Riverside HS Major: Mathematics - Statistics What is your dream job? Why pursue a degree in math if I want to be a cake decorator, a Barbie doll designer, or a background dancer at the Super Bowl? Look, I have a lot of things I want to do before my time is up. I don't dream of working, but my main goal in life is to be part of a group who make a positive impact on the world (social justice and human rights). And what's wrong with having side quests lol. I agree, numbers are very cool, and I will seek roles that will allow me to see what the numbers say. What inspired you to pursue mathematics? I always enjoyed math because it made sense, unlike English. I took advantage of the opportunities the district allowed to advance in math; I ended up being a little 10th grader in AP Calculus AB with all the seniors. I even had to attend a different school my junior and senior year because my home campus capped at AB. I actually didn't choose math as a major right way, but it was during the pandemic when I was reflecting on my college career and on the things didn't do. Since there is always going to be work waiting after college, I was like "what's the rush? ... just to work a 9 to 5, to sit in traffic every day for the rest of my life, no thank you. I'm going to add math as another major!" So here we are today! I'm glad I had the opportunity to pursue this field (and SURGE for taking a chance of me). Also, shout out to PBS for providing shows like "Cyberchase", "Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman", and "The Magic School Bus" for strengthening my love of STEM from a young age. What is one misconception about doing mathematics that you want to break? “I hate math; I’m not good at it.” Aww, I hear so many people say this (legit anyone who is not a math major has told me this) and I believe everyone is a math superstar, we just need to rebuild their confidence! How do you use mathematics in your life? Y'all... I'm a little anxious girly. I begin with the time I need to be at a function and start subtracting time from there. Even if I know it ALWAYS takes me 5 minutes to walk from my car to the building, I'm factoring in 10 mins. 20 minutes to shower, 20 minutes to pick an outfit, 5 whole minutes to say goodbye to my mother and to walk to my car, leaving between 7 and 9:30 am, take the backroads, arrive in 40 mins, leaving anytime there isn't traffic, taking the highway, arrive in 30. Yikes, me at the airport, not the best me. And then I'm a whole 30 minutes early lol. What is your favorite number and why? I like the number 12, maybe because I see it on the clock all the time, but what I love more than 12, is the analog clock! 60 is not a favorite of mine (seems really big) BUT visually, I love diving it in quarters, thirds, half's, 10 minute intervals, and in 5's.
Bio: Hometown: Chicago, Illinois High school: Lamar High School Major: Math (Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with 7-12 Teacher Certification) What is your dream job? Secondary Math Teacher What inspired you to pursue mathematics? My 5th grade math teacher planted my math seed. However, when I got to college I had different majors in mind. It wasn't until I was a high school tutor, and I wasn't taking any more math classes at UTA that I realized there was something missing. I felt drawn in helping the students on math questions and finding ways were they could visualize and approach the problem based on what they knew. Hence, I reached out to the UTeach advisor making the change of pursuing my Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and obtaining my teacher certification! What do you appreciate about the SURGE program? What I appreciate about the SURGE program is the support amongst the students and professors. They genuinely want to learn more about your goals and find ways to help you grow. They provide guest speakers to motivate and see how math can be applied in different ways! SURGE is one big family consisting of people who love math! What excites you about mathematics? Finding a solution to a problem that seems impossible. Thinking to myself "how can I approach this problem based on what I know and don't know?". The feeling of pure excitement when you solve the problem that you thought was impossible is one of a kind! Math keeps you on your toes as there is always something new to learn and is constantly changing. What is your favorite number and why? My favorite number is 3! One, because I have 3 siblings. Two, because it's my birthday month. And three, because it's odd.
Bio: Hometown: Dallas, TX High school: Uplift Heights Preparatory Major: Mathematics What is your dream job? College math professor What inspired you to pursue mathematics? I’ve enjoyed math since I was young. The feeling of helping friends and family learn and understand its concepts and see that it’s not all bad is very rewarding! What do you appreciate about the SURGE program? The professors and staff leading the program at UTA are always so kind, helpful, and push us towards new and exciting opportunities. What is your favorite number and why? 9, because I was born on the 9th!