Kyle Soeder, ('11)
Majors: Mathematics and Computer Science
Software engineer, Sierra Nevada Corporation
I think that there are 3 key areas in which the program was very successful for me:
First and foremost, as much as everyone dreads doing presentations, it was THE most important aspect of my future (thus far) successes in the industry environment. Constantly being required to present to fellow students, and requiring a major presentation as a graduation requirement really forced me to learn how to present myself in a professional manner, as well as how to communicate with others, both technical and non-technical alike. This has paid major dividends with respect to interviews, presentations and just general meeting environments by allowing me to get my point across to my colleagues and supervisors. This has allowed me to, in a matter of 20 months of graduation, earn team lead positions for teams of 4 to 8 engineers and drive my teams to execute successful projects. It has also allowed me the privilege to work directly with VIPs both internal to the company and our customers outside of the company.
The second major area that I found useful was the "number math". By this, I mean statistics, calculus, etc. I have frequently used my statistical background for developing valuable metrics and presentation material when presenting to number-oriented and image-oriented customers, allowing my message to be understood in many different situations.
Lastly, the practical applications that were had during courses motivated me to not just complete the math courses, but engage myself in the material.
María Jimena González Ramirez, ('09)
Majors: Mathematics and Economics
Graduate Student, Economics--Iowa state university
As I started at Loras, I never considered majoring in math as I was mainly focused on my economics major. After graduating from Loras, I went to Iowa State University to start a Ph.D. in economics. Looking back, deciding to major in math was the smartest academic decision I made at Loras. The program gave me the bases I needed to succeed in the Ph.D. courses that are extremely math-oriented. The math program allowed me to connect economics and math.
During the senior seminar courses, I was given the opportunity to present on economic models that used mathematics. For my senior project, I also chose a topic that connected economics and math: game theory. Consequently, the math program not only prepared me mathematically for graduate school but it also gave me the freedom to concentrate on projects that connected both of my majors.
I remember the senior seminar and capstone courses both taught by Dr. Jacob Heidenreich as we explored a variety of topics and saw the way math can be applied to almost everything. Seeing my peers focusing on topics they liked and using math to understand such topics was very fulfilling. Trying to solve extremely complicated problems using math was also very motivating. I also remember the Thursday nights at the Heidenreich’s as well as Dr. Keller’s love for pop tarts!
AMBER LEITZEN, ('02)
MAJORS: MATHEMATICS AND TEACHER EDUCATION
Math instructor, George Washington MIddle School
The teacher-student connections that I made at Loras continued into a friendship after college; it is nice to know you can always reconnect with your professors and they will remember you.
Learning math in the classroom can never prepare you for the students that you will teach, but it gave me a deeper understanding and new ways of presenting the same material.