Maverick Science Student Stories

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Michael HollandMichael Holland 

Major: Mathematics

MinorChemistry

Campus involvementMath Learning Resource Center tutorIntramural sports (Ultimate Frisbee team)

Fun fact: Enjoys competing in disc golf tournaments

I’ve always had an inkling towards mathematics and the sciences. Even back in primary school I would read our beginning science textbook during reading time because it interested me so much. After exploring different science subjects, I soon realized that I was more interested in the math behind the science than the science itself. One thing led to another and I came to becoming a math major.

When it came time to choose a college, I knew I wanted a university with smaller class sizes and where the faculty worked closely with their undergraduate population. Research was another important factor to me since thats something I wanted to explore, and UTA has a thriving research culture.

I’m originally from Melbourne, Australia and moved to Texas in 2015I had spent the previous summer at the University of Buenos Aires before I ultimately made up my mind to come to Texas for school. As a transfer student to UTAmy transfer experience was great. I was able to start out in my junior level classes and the professors made the transition very easy. 

UTA has seemingly endless resources for students. I’ve worked as a math tutor for the department my entire time here and just for math classes alone, there are two tutoring centers that are free (Math Lab and Math Clinic), specialized tutors who are dedicated to your own class, and professors who can always find time to meet with you to answer any questions you have.

It took me awhile to find out what mathematical fields interest me the most, but the majority of my work lies in mathematical chemistry, calculus of variations, and partial differential equations. I’ve been involved in independent research where I studied spherical packing of natural polymers. 

UTA is going to be what you make of it. Theres something for everyone here and it’s easier than you might think to make friends here. The College of Science has made great strides towards diversity across all fields and has many support groups. The Mathematics Department here is just the perfect size where it’s small enough for you to know all the professors but large enough to where you can form multiple study groups within your classes.

I’ve enjoyed all of my classes, but most of all I’ve loved working with [Department of Mathematics faculty] Dr. (Daniel) Warren, Dr. (Barbara) Shipman, and Dr. (Michaela) Vancliff. They all have their own unique teaching styles that just meld well with students. Dr. Warren is laid back and loves the brain teasers; Dr. Shipman is incredibly good at explaining high-level concepts in an easy to digest way; and Dr. Vancliff gives tough love in her classes but she really just wants to get the best out of you.

Even though I love math and science, sometimes I need a break and need to have time to reset myself. I’m involved with the Ultimate Frisbee team on campus and frequently play disc golf.

After I finish my bachelor’s degree, I’m going to continue onto graduate school and study chemistry at the masters level. I would like to continue teaching and work on research in renewable energy sources.