Mathematics

Katherine Roddy ‘11 MATH-KatherineRoddy
F09-S10 D-plan: L-R-R
Mathematics

Favorite and least favorite things about your department:

I’ve been blessed with the quality of teachers I’ve had in the department. Dartmouth’s math department puts a strong emphasis on teaching undergraduates, and every professor I’ve had has been helpful, accessible, and known me by name. My least favorite part is the lack of women in many of the challenging courses. I firmly believe that girls are just as capable of taking those kinds of classes, but whether it is confidence or interest, classes are frequently male-dominated.

Important info for potential majors:

Don’t be afraid of hard classes! I had to be really pushed into taking Math 71 my sophomore fall, and I learned more struggling in that class than I ever would have learned comfortably in another.

Talk to me if:

you’re unsure about math beyond calculus

Most valuable academic info learned:

Go to office hours! Also, the world doesn’t end when you fail a midterm; pick yourself up and learn from it.

Favorite class and professor:

MATH 42: Differential Geometry, 09W with Prof. Pauls

Major classes taken:

MATH 11, 23, 24, 28, 42, 43, 71; CS 5

Major journey:

I thought math was easy (and thus boring) in middle and high school, and I only took Math 11 my freshman fall because I needed a third class. I didn’t figure out that I really love math until I discovered that it can be challenging and interesting—the adrenaline rush that comes with solving a really difficult problem or finally figuring out the key to that proof you’re struggling with can’t be beat.

Major-specific activities:

AWM (Association for Women in Mathematics)—Secretary, Webmaster

Thesis status:

No idea! Most people fulfill their culminating experience requirement by taking one of a list of upper-level math courses.

Other activities:

Varsity Women’s Crew; Tour Guide; Alpha Xi Delta—Assistant Treasurer (09W), ECO Rep, Webmaster (09X); DOC Trip Leader (08F)

Internship experience:

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Research Alliance in Math and Science (RAMS) internship, Summer 2008, Oak Ridge, TN.

sliderRam Kolluri ‘11 MATH-RamKolluri
F09-S10 D-plan: L-R-R
Economics, Mathematics and Social Sciences

Favorite and least favorite things about your department:

The best thing about the Math and Social Sciences Department is Professor Levine, who is the chair and the professor who teaches most of the department’s classes. He has done extensive work in the fields of network and data analysis, and is a wealth of information. Through his classes, students learn an analytical framework to interpret data, and he encourages students to pursue research questions of their own interest. While most majors like the freedom to choose what classes they want to take, this major is not structured like other academic departments. There is only one full time professor, and most of the work is done based on the students’ individual interest.

Important info for potential majors:

You will need to complete four upper level math classes after completing the calculus sequence, in addition to four classes in social science fields. Afterwards, you MUST write a thesis because this is an honors major. The social science classes do not have to be in the same department, but have to relate to each other in a meaningful way.

Talk to me if:

If you’re unsure what exactly the major is, or what classes you need to take to become a major. If you’re unsure how this is different than a modified math major, I would be able to explain how that works.

Most valuable academic info learned:

The importance of doing work in a subject that interests you. In most departments, classes are structured to make students go through a fixed curriculum, but the freedom to choose topics of your own allow you to learn material in a much more interactive manner that lets you explore and analyze topics in greater detail.

Favorite class and professor:

M&SS 15 – Intro to Data Analysis taught by Professor Levine is where I learned a lot of quantitative skills and techniques to analyze data and write clearly about what is in the data. I think people underestimate the importance of writing in subjects that are more quantitative, but language is extremely important in interpreting, analyzing, and reporting data. It has definitely helped me become more successful in my other classes as well.

Major classes taken:

MATH 3, 8, 11, 22, 23; M&SS 15; GOVT 38

Major journey:

I intended on being a math major, but took the introductory data analysis class my freshman spring and became really interested in the department. As I am more interested in using mathematical tools to analyze different issues and data sets rather than the theoretical focus of the math major, this department proved to better suit my interests. I have freedom to choose the math classes that interest me as well as the social science classes that interest me.

Thesis status:

I plan to write a thesis that analyzes political networks in India. India is the largest democracy in the world and its elections draw over 700 million voters with various parties and demographics. Coalition formation is crucial, and I want to analyze the networks that are present in Indian electoral politics.

Other activities:

Invisible Hand Economics Journal- Co-Editor in Chief; UGA; Milan- VP;  Study Group Leader

Off-campus program:

Government – FSP in London, 09F

Internship experience:

Standard and Poor’s- Business Analysis Intern- Summer 2008- New York, NY
Standard and Poor’s- Index Services Intern – Summer 2009- New York, NY

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Zach Stolzenberg ‘11 MATH-ZachStolzenberg
F09-S10 D-plan: R-L-R
Math; Minors: Public Policy, French

Favorite and least favorite things about your department:

I like that the math major is very flexible. After you take the prerequisites, you basically have complete freedom to take whatever you want. The material is great too. It really makes you think and improves your problem solving skills. I also like that the professors are knowledgeable and friendly, even if they are a little awkward.

My least favorite thing is the homework. For the most part, homework consists of proofs that are pretty difficult. It is really frustrating to work on a problem for hours and get nowhere.

Important info for potential majors:

Take the prerequisites early so that you can get them out of the way and take more interesting classes. Also, don’t be afraid to go to office hours. Professors love getting to know students and often teach better in a one-on-one setting.

Talk to me if:

You are wondering about what you can do for a career with a math major or if someone is trying to talk you out of a math major.

Most valuable academic info learned:

Professors are people just like you and me. Get to know them, go to office hours, and don’t be afraid to seek them out for advice. Also, smaller classes are much better in my opinion. You get a much more intimate setting and it is much easier to concentrate.

Favorite class and professor:

My favorite class so far was Math 25 with Professor Pomerance. It was interesting to learn about problems that have been puzzling mathematicians for centuries. I also learned how some properties that seem so obvious can be extremely difficult to prove or justify.

Major classes taken:

MATH 12, 24, 25, 38

Major journey:

I have always (ok, since elementary school) loved working with numbers and been good at math. I was pretty sure I was going to major in math from the moment I arrived at Dartmouth. The subject is challenging, but fun, and it really improves your ability to think through difficult problems.

Major-specific activities:

Math Society, Tutored Math 3

Thesis status:

Unsure at this point

Other activities:

UGA; Student Budget Advisory Committee; Honor Education Committee; Student representative to the Committee on Instruction; Agora

Off-campus program:

French FSP in Paris, 09W

Internship experience:

I interned at The Charles Group, a government consulting firm in Washington, D.C., my freshman summer (08X). It was part of the First Year Fellows program offered by the Rockefeller Center.