Interviews

Printer-friendly version

The Mathematics Department prepared me extremely well in terms of knowledge and attitude. I think it is one of the best in the country and if I could go back in time, I would not change anything in my career. 

 

 - Ovidiu Munteanu, Ph.D. '08
Associate Professor
University of Connecticut

Timmy Ma (2018)

Background

BS from UC Berkeley and MS from UC Irvine

What is your current employment?

Postdoc, Darmouth College

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

Yes, it was.

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

Postdoc, Dartmouth College

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Pretty important.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

Learning to write a CV, teaching, and research statement.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

Playing on the MATHLETES sports teams.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Focus on career development early on. Be involved with the department, go to conferences, help out with the AMS, SIAM chapters, MATH Club. Apply to be a pedagogical fellow. Apply for fellowships. Do summer research at other universities (ask your advisor about summer research programs).

Michael Porter (2018)

Background

I got a BS and a Master of Engineering degree from UC Berkeley. After working 24 years as an electronics engineer, I got a MS in Mathematics from Cal State Long Beach, then went to UCI.

What is your current employment?

I am currently unemployed.

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

I am looking for a tenure-track position, probably at a small liberal arts college.

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

I applied to 137 schools, got 3 Skype interviews, but no on-campus interviews.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

I got a lot of advice from the professors and former students. Without that, I would not have understood the process of looking for an academic job.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

It’s hard to answer that now. I learned a lot of math, and I learned a little about the academic environment.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

I miss seeing other grad students every day, and I miss my students.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Try to write some papers, and don’t procrastinate your research.

Karen Wood (2017)

Background

BS from: Cal Poly Pomona; MS from: UC Irvine

What is your current employment?

Space Systems Analyst at The Aerospace Corporation

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

Yes

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

I received an offer from The Aerospace Corporation, graduated and began my career.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Very important. A previous alumnus helped me get the interview, and a PhD was desired for my role. Some of the topics spanned by my thesis topic have come up in work too: Genetic Algorithms and agent-based simulation. These I think both have helped me in my current position. In addition, the analysis skilled I gained throughout the process have been invaluable.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

Synthesis of material by reading various papers, programing, presentations.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

Spending time with and studying with other graduate students.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Network and volunteer.

Shuai Zhang (2017)

Background

BS from Shandong University, China; MS from Shandong University, China

What is your current employment?

Qualcomm AI Research.

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

Algorithm research position in industry

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

I join the AI Research team of Qualcomm after graduation in 2017.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Thanks for UCI math department and my PhD advisor – Prof. Xin. They taught me these necessary mathematical optimization knowledge and how to apply them in real applications. Prof. Xin also gave me the valuable chance to join Qualcomm-University research program during Ph.D. period. Our research topics come from the real application needs in industry, which give you the sense of accomplishment to solve them. You are welcome to join Xin’s lab!

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

Numerical optimization, programming skills, patient and confidence in the process of solving problems.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

Research experience with advisor and Computational PDEs course taught by Prof. Long Chen.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Make assumptions boldly; find proofs carefully.

Fei He (2014)

Background

BS from East China Normal University, China; MS from UC Irvine

What is your current employment?

Assistant Professor, Xiamen University.

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

Yes

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

After graduation I went to the University of Minnesota for a 3- year postdoc job, then I came to Xiamen University.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Very important.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

To do research independently.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

I really enjoyed living in Irvine, it was such a nice place!

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Work harder.

Timothy Choi (2013)

Background

BS from: UCSD; MS from: UC Irvine

What is your current employment?

Cypress College / Orange Coast College

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

No, research mathematician

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

Adjunct instructor at Cypress College.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Very important.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

Very important.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

 Taking classes on advanced math..

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Study hard.

Deliang Yin (2013)

Background

BS from East China Normal University, China; MS from UC Irvine

What is your current employment?

Model Validation in Scotiabank

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

Yes

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

11/2013 – 7/2016: Model Validation in BMO 2/2017 – present: Model Validation in Scotiabank

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Very important! I have the foundational math skills through my PhD training in UCI.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

Math skills, in probably and stochastic differential equations Interpersonal skills as a coordinator for international students

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Seek for internship during summer break if you’d like to find jobs in industry, instead of academic world.

Kenn Huber (2012)

Background

BS from UC Irvine 2006; MS from UC Irvine 2008

What is your current employment?

UCI Lecturer and Irvine Valley College Professor.

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

Yes

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

Taught as adjunct at UCI, Saddleback College, and Chapman College until hired for Tenure track Prof. at IVC

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Very

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

Organization and the understanding of higher level mathematics, as well as the art of communicating with students

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

 Finishing my defense

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Just keep re-reading those papers until it makes sense

Jon Lo (2011)

Background

BS from: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR, China.

What is your current employment?

Assistant Professor of Mathematics at City University of Hong Kong.

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

Yes.

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

I am currently an assistant professor at Department of Mathematics at City University of Hong Kong. Before joining CityU in 2015, I worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Mathematical Biosciences Institute at the Ohio State University My mentors for my postdoctoral training are Avner Friedman(Mathematics, OSU), Ching-Shan Chou (Mathematics, OSU) and Hay-Oak Park(Molecular Genetics, OSU). The period of my postdoctoral training is from 2011 to 2014. I finished my Ph.D.(Mathematics) in 2011 at University of California Irvine under the supervision of Qing Nie (Mathematics, UCI).

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Very important.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

All research skills.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

 Working and playing with friends in the same lab.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Work hard, play hard.

Sean Cox (2009)

Background

BS from: North Carolina State University; MS from: UC Irvine

What is your current employment?

Associate Professor (tenured), Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

To be a math professor at a research university.

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

Worked 3 years as a postdoc in Germany, then hired on tenure track at Virginia Commonwealth University.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Tremendously important. UCI math, at the time I was there, was perfect for me, since they offered a 1-year remedial graduate classes in analysis and algebra (205/206 I think were the numbers) for those like me with insufficient background in math. After that year, my advisor Martin Zeman and others (especially Matt Foreman) provided a welcoming but challenging environment to complete my PhD.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

How to target research talks to the audience. Don’t overestimate the audience’s familiarity with the topic you’re talking about.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

When I proved my first theorem and realized that I had the potential to do research in mathematics as a career. Prior to that, I was not very confident.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Making it through grad school requires both a passion for the subject matter, and a willingness to slog through the many unpleasant features of math research (failed proofs, papers that don’t seem immediately relevant but contain key ideas, feelings of inadequacy, etc.). Also, keep in mind that the job market in academia is awful. I know many people in my field, at least as good as me (research-wise), who still have no tenure track job after several years on the market. You need a backup plan if academia doesn’t work out for you.

Songting Luo (2009)

Background

BS from: University of Science & Technology of China; MS from: UC Irvine

What is your current employment?

Associate Professor, Dept of Math, Iowa State University

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

Academia

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

I did postdoc at Michigan State University from 2009-2012, and moved to Iowa State University in 2012.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Very important.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

Everything

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

Everything.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Do research

Anna Konstorum (2015)

Background

BS from: McGill University (Quebec, Canada); MS from: UCLA, UCI

What is your current employment?

I’m a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Quantitative Medicine at UConn Health.

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

My career goals have been fluid, but to the extent of doing applied mathematics in biomedicine – this is very much a career goal that I am excited to pursue. And, not only for the sake of doing research in this field in the future (which is a definite possibility), but because it translates well to other applications – so I have many opportunities for the next stage of my career.

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

I started my postdoc role immediately after graduation. It was a perfect transition – I still get to work in a similar application field to my thesis, but I have expanded my capabilities in high-throughput biological data analysis, as well as modeling different aspects of biomedical processes than I had been doing previously, so it’s very complementary.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

It was pivotal. I was able to gain expertise in research via my thesis work with my advisor Dr. John Lowengrub, as well as expand the breadth of my mathematical knowledge via the courses and qualifying exams.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

Many! The most important ‘skill’, if that is what it is: is confidence that I can tackle difficult projects and problems. Having had to do that over and over again in graduate school has given me the ability to address difficult projects in a (relatively!) calm and logical manner. Another important skill, not necessarily obvious, is the ability to work in an interdisciplinary setting (I was almost always collaborating with both mathematicians and biologists while at UCI) – you get comfortable in the shifting roles you take on: to the biologists I was a mathematician (and vice versa), and you learn to shift how you communicate depending on the context. It’s an excellent skill for the world outside of graduate school.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

I think, and this is a conglomeration of memories, the times when we were huddled in one or another student’s office trying to figure out a qual or homework problem. There was a sense of comraderie and teamwork that made a difficult and potentially isolating experience into a collaborative and fun one. Of-course – if you had asked me then, I would never have thought I was having fun!

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

It’s a temporary insanity – try to enjoy it, and understand that it will end, and if you are stubborn enough (note, not necessarily the most intelligent or gifted – stubborn), you will make it through. And: try to take an internship or do research in another lab/university over a summer if you can. Even if you are absolutely sure you want to stay in academia/your line of research (or, absolutely sure that you don’t), such an experience can provide an invaluable perspective on your journey.

13. Do you have a question that you would like to be asked? How would you answer it?

Q: What do you miss most about your graduate experience at UCI? A: I miss the sense of community among fellow graduate students (in Mathematics, and beyond) that UCI fosters. I formed close friendships with my classmates, as well as students who participated in similar extracurricular activities. I didn’t understand at the time how much harder this would be to organize after leaving graduate school. UCI fosters a great sense of community among its students and staff: all I can say is take advantage of it! You’ll have to work much harder for this once you get your degree.

Ovidiu Munteanu (2008)

Background

BS from: Transylvania University, Romania; MS from: Transylvania University, Romania

What is your current employment?

University of Connecticut

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

Yes, my original career goal was to teach in a research based university in North America or Europe.

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

I was hired as a Ritt Asistant professor at Columbia University for four years. In 2012 I moved to University of Connecticut, where I got tenured in 2017.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

It was very important, because it layed the foundation for my career. I think that the mathematics I learned at UC Irvine gave me enough freedom later, during my postdoctoral experience. Also, I feel that having a positive experience in graduate school and starting on the right foot prepares one mentally for what is next.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

One is to have patience and keep trying; the results will come eventually. I have heard this many times from my adivisor when I complained about my failed attempts to solve some problem. Another is not to be satisfied with a job half done. I suppose I am still learning these skills.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

Academically, my fondest memory is when I obtained the main result of my thesis. I could tell that my advisor was satisfied with my progress, and so I felt deeply relieved. Personally, my fondest memory is when my daughter was born, in my third year of studies.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

UC Irvine has a fine mathematics department, with leading experts in what they do. My advice for current graduate students is to study hard and learn the trade from their advisors. I think that Irvine is also one of the best places to live as a graduate student, so take advantage of that, too.

Ryan Holben (2013)

Background

BS from: Colby College; MS from: UC Irvine

What is your current employment?

Senior Software Engineer at Cruise Automation

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

No, my original goal was mathematics professor at a small liberal arts college

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

I took a quarter off, then taught math at UCI until summer 2015.  After that, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the math department at Furman University until 2016.  Then focused on software engineering, and began working at Cruise Automation in November 2016.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Moderately important.  Of course it defined my next few years of lecturing math.  I was contacted by several tech companies, including my current one, because of my Ph.D. in math.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

I don't often use my technical domain knowledge in software engineering job.  However, I use the rigorous logical thinking and problem solving skills that I honed in grad school all the time.  Additionally, my experience teaching is very useful.  It has made me an effective communicator as well as a leader in the various roles I've held.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

My fondest memories are a close tie between lecturing my own courses and attending the Logic & Set Theory seminars.  Being a part of such a tight-knit group that discussed fascinating research and hosted and traveled to Logic in Southern California meetings was a great experience.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Life can take you unexpected places, and if you're flexible you can turn that into an exciting and successful path. With that in mind, pick a research focus that especially interest you, and don't underestimate the value of your job as a teaching assistant.  The skills and experiences you cultivate in graduate school will be formative for years to come.

Son Nguyen (2012)

Background

BS from: CSULB; MS from: CSULB/UCI

What is your current employment?

Coastline Community College

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

> Coming in, I didn't have an original career. My main concern was to be able to provide for my siblings at the time and making sure they have a better shot than me at getting ahead in life.

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

I was fortunate enough to get a postdoc position at University of Missouri, Columbia. I stayed at Missouri  for two years before accepting my current position at Coastline Community College.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Although my current position does not require a PhD degree in Math, I would still characterize it as extremely important. I don't think I would be able to serve the students in my community the way I want to without the experience.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

Not mine but definitely played a crucial role in my youngest brother's life. I learn that if I want my brother to get ahead in life, then I need to move him to Irvine. It's quite crazy to think that a kid growing up in Westminster is going to have a totally different life experience than the same kid growing up in Irvine. We are talking about a 20 minutes drive between the two communities here. 

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

I have many. The day my advisor said he's willing to accept me as his student is up there. Also the friends that I have made in the program. Outside of my advisor, I probably learn the most mathematics from them.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

If you are at the level of Chris Marx, then this is not for you.  Be careful and take your time when you are in the process of selecting an advisor. I have heard of many stories of students (at UCI) choosing the wrong advisor for them and regret later. I honestly don't know what is the best approach in selecting an advisor but you have got to find the right one for you.

Do you have a question that you would like to be asked? How would you answer it?

I have two. Here is my first question: What do I think about the department? Here is my answer: I think the department does not treat its graduate students very well. The whole time I was there, the department does a very good job at reminding me that I am a replaceable cog. I did not grow up in the right neighborhood with the right parents and I needed help. Instead of trying to see me as a person that cheat the system by not doing his tutoring hours, perhaps the people that are making decisions can recognize how their decisions can cause disadvantages to students like myself. We all can do a better job at creating an environment where it doesn't feel like it's a dog-eat-dog world. Here is my second question: If you can recommend the faculty in the department that are in charge of making the day-to-day decision something to read, what would it be? Here is my answer:  The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/06/the-birth-of-a-new-...

 

Wei-Kuo Chen (2012)

Background

BS from: National Central University, Taiwan; MS from: Nation Chiao-Tung University, Taiwan

What is your current employment?

Assistant professor in the school of mathematics at the University of Minnesota

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

Yes

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

I was a postdoc for three years at the University of Chicago from 2012-2015 under the supervision of professor Gregory Lawler. Since 2015 I am an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

The training I received at UCI has been playing a very important role in my career. In particular, my advisor was always very supportive and provided me a great freedom to learn and to choose any directions and problems that I like. These had helped me grow as an independent researcher and have influenced me ever since I was a graduate student.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

Probably the most essential skill I learned from my study is the research independence. In addition, I also had an ample opportunity to talk to excellent young and senior researchers through conferences, workshops, and summer schools. These are the places where I started learning how to communicate within the academic community.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

UCI has a very comfortable campus. I enjoyed a lot taking a walk within and near the campus during the evening. This is the moment I felt extremely relaxed and also concentrated on my work. More importantly, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to interact with a number of good friends coming from diverse cultures and nations. Without doubt, my personal life quality would be poor if without their constant sincere supports.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Try a variety of subjects you like and decide what you want to do later Help yourself grow as an independent researcher Learn how to teach and give presentations Talk to your classmates and appreciate their works Communicate with outside world beyond mathematics If possible, prepare yourself some skills for industrial jobs even if you manage to stay in academia

Cynthia Sanchez Tapia (2016)

Background

BS from: University of Colima, Mexico; MS from: UC Irvine

What is your current employment?

Hill Assistant Professor (Postdoc), Rutgers University

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

Yes

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

I worked at UCI as the MATH CEO coordinator and as a lecturer in the Math Department. On August, 2016 returned to my country (Mexico), but I did not find job opportunities (nothing interesting, at least) so I decided to look for job opportunities at USA and returned to this country last year to continue my path career.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Very important. The importance comes from the opportunities that are not course related. As a graduate student I had the opportunity to:

1.- Be the course instructor during summers and a TA during the rest of the year (not every quarter because I had a fellowship during my graduate studies. I really appreciate that when an opportunity existed, the Math Department allowed me to be a teacher assistant)
2.- Be a research advisor for undergraduate students in the research summer program MCBU (from 2012 - 2016).
3.- Participate as volunteer and later on as the coordinator of the MATH CEO program.

These experiences, I believe, have been very important to allow me to not only get my current job, but also to have enough experience and knowledge to do my job efficiently.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

My experience at MATH CEO. Interacting with the kids was very nice but my fondest memory was seeing the faces of their parents during the several parent workshops we prepared to inform them about the college opportunities their children could have and how to get ready to help their kids to go to college. There is a part of the workshop where undergraduate and graduate students, with similar background as the MATH CEO kids (coming from low income families, Latino students, etcetera), share their stories (how they got into college). You can notice how the parents get motivated. Knowing people with the same background as their children who have been able to succeed at college give them energy and enthusiasm to work for their kids’ future. It was gratifying to see that a little effort from our part may do a big difference to them.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Get ready for the job market, and with that comment I mean: research about the necessary skills for the job-position you will be seeking when ending the Ph D. If, for example, you are interested in going into the industry you should get informed about the desired skills the companies are seeking so you get ready and have enough experience when the time comes. If you are thinking in continuing in academia, then you should get more teaching experience as well as not restrict your research experience to your thesis. You will need several recommendation letters (good ones) at least two research related and at least one teaching related. Thus, you must work to get them. It is also a good idea to go to conferences to present you work, it will help you to improve your presentation skills which will be necessary when you start the job interviews.

Rafael De Santiago (2007)

Background

BS from: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain; MS from: University of California, San Diego

What is your current employment?

Professor, IESE Business School, University of Navarra

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

Yes, goal was to stay in Academia.

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

Nothing fancy… the normal tenure track.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

It was key, as it helped me get into the research area I work in, and then develop professionally in that area.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

Learning to combine probability theory with applied Mathematics. And academic rigor.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

There are many. Perhaps I would single out the regular talks and discussions I had with my advisor, I learned a lot from him.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Work closely with your advisor.

Hua Lv (2007)

Background

BS from: University of Science and Technology of China; MS from: University of California Irvine

What is your current employment?

Wells Fargo

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

Yes.

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

After graduating from UCI, Hua joined Wells Fargo as a quant.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

The mathematics background including not only the knowledge but also the ability to do independent research plays a key role in everyday life as a quant.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

The ability I have established during PhD with Professor Solna to analyze, research and solve problems plays an important role.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

Reading books at UCI science library.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Set a goal and work towards it.

Jun Fang (2017)

Background

BS from: Zhejiang University; MS from: University of California Irvine

What is your current employment?

Deep Learning Scientist, NeoGenomics Laboratories

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

No.

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

Short career of 1 year, not that much to describe.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Research and programming experience are very important.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

Research, quantitative analysis, optimization.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

Lots of free time to learn new stuff based on my personal interest.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Start early to prepare for your career.

Mariano Franco (2016)

Background

BS from: Universidad de Guanajuato, Gto. Mexico; MS from: University of California Irvine

What is your current employment?

Intelligence and Segmentation Sr. Manager

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

My career goal has changed over the years, I am doing what I like.

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

I was teaching one quarter at UCI, a semester at the Orange Coast College, during summer at Stanford University and Finally I landed a job in a bank at Mexico City.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Mathematics for your career? Very important. I had a great experience full of knowledge, friends, challenges, beer and ghost peppers, I just love it.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

Numerical analysis, English, analysis.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

As an international student the whole experience is complicated and beautiful at the same time.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

Try to communicate more with people with in the department and outside of it. Interaction is very important, and sometimes we (mathematicians) lack of it. We are social beens, all the thins you have learned need to land in actions.

Penghang Yin (2016)

Background

BS from: University of Science and Technology of China; MS from: Arizona State University

What is your current employment?

Postdoc in the Department of Mathematics at UCLA

Was this your original career goal? If not, what was it?

Yes.

Can you briefly describe your career path after graduation?

I have been a postdoc at UCLA since graduation.

How important was your experience in the UCI graduate program in Mathematics for your career?

Some graduate courses that I took at UCI were useful for my later research, e.g. Math 226 and 290 series. The computational and applied math seminars that are frequently held have also benefited me a lot. In addition, I was fortunate to work with my advisor Prof. Jack Xin, who was very supportive to my career. He always gave me the cutting-edge topics.

What skills did you learn as a graduate student that turned out to play an important role in your professional life?

Coding skill and the ability to do research independently.

What is your fondest memory of the time as a graduate student at UCI?

I passed the qualification exams prior to my first quarter at UCI.

Do you have any advice for current graduate students?

My advice is to begin their research as early as possible.