Jennifer Talton, SBU Mathematics Alumnus
"Upon entering my grad school classes I felt I had a strong background in Calculus. I did not have any problems in my mathematical statistics classes keeping up with all the Calculus we did. I also felt that the Abstract Algebra and linear Algebra classes from SBU helped me in several other grad school classes as well. In some of our upper level math classes at SBU we did a lot of group work and that was good experience as a lot of our assignments in grad school were done in groups. The professors at SBU were very helpful in my decision process for grad school. There was a lot to think about: small grad school, large grad school, which program to go into, etc... and they gave me advice and talked about their experiences as well.
I would strongly suggest to anyone who is thinking about a math degree from SBU to talk with the professors. They are very helpful and honest about the program. They can let students know if they have a strong enough background to start on the Calculus sequence or if they should take some other classes first. Also, I would suggest talking with students that are currently in the program or have already gone through the program to get any questions answered they may have. I think most people that have gotten a math degree from SBU had a very positive experience and enjoyed themselves! One of the best ways to decide if a degree program is right for you is to take a class in that area. By actually taking a class you are able to get a feel for the professors, the program, and your level of interest in the subject. I started out as an Accounting major and after taking a few classes decided that it did not interest me as much as I originally thought. I then switched over to the math department and it fit me well and I enjoyed it very much!
I am currently a TA (teaching assistant) at University of Nebraska-lincoln (UNL) and teach an undergraduate statistics class. This is my fourth semester teaching this class and I love it! It's probably one of my favorite parts about grad school. Because I do not teach just a recitation (like most math and statistics departments have their TA's do) I have a lot of freedom in the classroom and what I teach....although it's a lot more responsibility and time!
And obviously my other professional experience is my internship in DC. I worked for the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). NASS is a division within the USDA that produces all the crop reports. I worked in the statistical methods department of NASS and most of my summer I worked on the 'Computer Use Survey' that came out in August. I was also introduced to several other survey's that NASS publishes and exposed to how they set the estimates for the different crops. It was neat to put to use a lot of what I had been learning for the previous year in grad school. Working and living in DC for the summer was a great experience...I got to do and see a lot of really cool things!"