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What it's like to study Mathematics at Centenary

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Adam Achilles ’09

Mathematics graduate

Centenary College Mathematics major »

When you combine the advanced track of Mathematics with the training and baseball schedule of the Centenary Cyclones you might expect a number of conflicts. That wasn’t the case for Adam Achilles ’09. “The Mathematics Department was very accommodating,” says Adam. “They really worked to make sure I got into all the classes I needed.”

A member of Kappa Mu Epsilon, the mathematics honor society, Adam chose to major in Mathematics because it’s a degree that offers a lot of options. “Math is a mindset of figuring things out,” he explains. “If you’re a computer programmer you need to see how things break down in the code and solve the problem. Math does play more into everyday life than everyone thinks.” As Adam considers a future that might include a position with a government agency or graduate school, he is appreciative of the Centenary experience where faculty members went out of their way to introduce concepts that go beyond the curriculum. “If there was any new topic that I had an interest in like number theory, the professors were very responsive,” he says. “They really engage you and let you explore. ”

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Brittany Garcia ’09

Mathematics graduate

Centenary College Mathematics major »

Brittany Garcia ’09 was bored in high school. “I was just really eager to learn and wanted new challenges,” says Brittany who began taking classes at Centenary while completing a full course load in high school. She did this for three semesters before enrolling full-time at the College in the Mathematics program.

“Math always came easy to me,” explains Brittany, noting that with the support of her professors and the Mathematics Department she was able to continue her accelerated path and complete her undergraduate degree in three years. “I definitely learned a lot at Centenary. All of the math professors at Centenary made a really big impact on my life and in helping me figure out what I want to do with mathematics.”

In addition to an accelerated course schedule, Brittany also took advantage of other opportunities at Centenary. She served as president of Kappa Mu Epsilon, the mathematics honor society and tutored as many as 15 students a semester. She also completed an internship with DSM Nutritional Products doing statistical analysis. “It was a really cool experience,” says Brittany. “My many accomplishments in Mathematics at Centenary College were possible because of the personalized assistance from my advisor, Professor Kathy Turrisi. Even though I was not the only advisee, Professor Turrisi made me feel as I was by always being aware of my academic progress.”

Having graduated college at the age of 19, Brittany is working and saving money for graduate school. “I loved tutoring and helping people,” she says. “I know I will definitely teach in academia. I even hope to one day teach at Centenary College.” Brittany is currently pursing her masters to further her education.

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Stephanie Osinksi Rea ’09

Mathematics graduate
Part-time mathematics instructor Middlesex County College
Graduate student Texas A&M University

Centenary College Mathematics major »

Stephanie Osinski Rea ’09 completed a Mathematics degree at Centenary College after graduating with highest honors from Middlesex County College. She never expected the undergraduate degree program would open so many career possibilities.

"At Centenary I got to explore different topics in mathematics that opened a few more doors for me," explains Stephanie. "I became really interested in number theory. In History of Mathematics we studied the Egyptian Fraction Table — no one knows why the fractions are broken out the way they are. I started to notice some patterns and that’s something I’m going to pursue further in my graduate studies."

In addition to pursuing a Master of Science in Mathematics through the online program at Texas A&M University, Stephanie is a part-time mathematics instructor at Middlesex County College. She hopes to become a full-time professor or apply her love of patterns and number theory to a position with the National Security Agency (NSA). The Centenary alumna is also writing a mathematics book that she describes as "geared towards non-math people." "There are some reference dictionaries for math,” notes Stephanie. “But most are not written in a way that the average person can understand them. Math is mostly about translating and by writing this book I hope I will attract more people to study math."

As for incoming Mathematics majors at Centenary College, Stephanie offers this piece of advice:  "Take advantage of every opportunity because the opportunities at Centenary are unlimited."

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