Graduates of the Mathematics Department are helping to build its reputation through their own accomplishments in industry and academia. The best way to learn the value of a Saint Peter’s Jesuit education is from those who have experienced it. Here’s some information about a few grads:
Sarah Heilig ’11
While I attended Saint Peter’s College, I majored in Mathematics and Computer Science because I felt that with a background in these two fields, I could pursue any career that I wanted. While working toward my math degree, I truly enjoyed learning from some very knowledgeable professors who also took the time to get to know their students. They introduced many diverse applications of math that always made seemingly normal Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Mathematical Modeling classes interesting. Throughout my four years, between learning about integrals and matrix multiplication, I learned that math could be used to predict the next winner in an election, to maximize the number of cars that get through a green light at a stoplight, and to decrypt codes.
When I was a senior, I spent most of my year doing original research with Dr. Hopkins for my senior thesis, which was on finding connections between symmetric 2X2 games in game theory. I became very familiar with situations known as Prisoner’s Dilemma and the popular game, Chicken. Being able to read books from well-known, modern mathematicians and working with someone who has several mathematical publications under his name gave me an even deeper appreciation for the field of mathematics. I also credit my professors at Saint Peter’s College with my success now. I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in mathematics at New York University. They gave me the background that I needed to continue on in my education. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Saint Peter’s College, especially working with the mathematics department.
Vincent Berardi ’03
I attended SPC from 1999 through 2003. The small class sizes afforded me an abundance of individual attention from my professors, both in the classroom and through extracurricular activities, such as Pi Mu Epsilon. I was exposed to a variety of topics such as calculus, discrete mathematics, and abstract algebra. The most influential of these was a seminar in chaos theory that I completed with Dr. Safford. That experience provided the motivation for me to receive my Masters degree in Applied Mathematics in the Non-Linear Dynamical Systems group from San Diego State University. My thesis focused on the propagation of non-linear waves through granular media. I am currently enrolled in Computational Sciences PhD program at SDSU, where I am studying mathematical models of human behavior. Saint Peters College was the first environment in which I experienced the collaborative interaction between professors and students. The education I received there, both academic and personal, continues to provide an excellent foundation for success.
William Gutsch ’67
The Jesuit philosophy and consequent broad based education that I received at Saint Peter’s created both the right knowledge base and mind set to allow me to further broaden my interests and pursuits in graduate school and throughout a multi-discipline career … from my years as Chairman of the American Museum-Hayden Planetarium in New York to my time working with the astronauts in Washington as President & CEO of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education to consulting for science centers from Europe to Asia and South America to years of writing and producing for television and directing on sound stages from Hollywood to Lucasfulms and my serving as President of the Board of Directors of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. It is now my pleasure to be back at Saint Peter’s teaching in several departments and sharing my experience with both undergraduates and candidates in our doctoral program.