What have you been up to since Bowdoin?
After doing an REU at Iowa State in the summer of 2009, I chose to attend Iowa State for graduate school, working with the same advisor who supervised my REU project (also a part of this project, coincidentally, was my Bowdoin peer Yoni Ackerman ’11). I completed my PhD in 2015, studying dynamical systems, more specifically, chaos theory, symbolic dynamics, and ergodic theory. I’ve since dabbled in some stochastic perturbations and also some biomathematics. After finishing graduate school, I moved to Southern California to work as a visiting professor at Pomona College (which I chose to work at because the community there reminded me a lot of Bowdoin - when they asked during my interview why I was interested in working at a small liberal arts college, I just gushed about Bowdoin). I’m now finishing up my last year at Pomona, and this summer I will be moving to Helena, Montana to work at another small liberal arts college called Carroll College as an Assistant Professor.
The reason I initially took math classes at Bowdoin was because I had always been good at math throughout high school, and figured I’d continue to excel (though Pietraho’s 172 class definitely brought my ego back down to earth). The reason I continued to take math classes was I realized, the more classes I took, the more this mathematical way of viewing the world sort of perfectly aligned with the way I thinking about the world and the questions I have. I have always loved breaking down things I observe into descriptions of patterns. My sisters would hate playing games with me as a kid because I would totally determine the way for me to guarantee I win. I was thrilled to discover a whole group of people who ask the same questions that I do and want to study these patterns more. My professors at Bowdoin also definitely encouraged my enthusiasm!