Surprised by Statistics

stats646.jpg

Jorge Bañuelos ’11

CATEGORY: Academics, Student Life
TYPE: Articles
RELATED PROGRAMS: Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science

More from Macalester Now

Macalester Now February 2012

Newsletter Written by Mac Students

By Jorge Bañuelos ’11, For Macalester Now

Inglewood, California
Mathematics
After Mac: PhD in theoretical statistics, UC–Berkeley

Began as a biology major, became an economics major, ended up as a math major. It was while taking multivariable calculus and linear algebra for my economics major that I fell in love with math and its power.

Professors’ desire to see their students succeed, combined with their willingness to invest time in each student individually, gives Macalester students a major advantage.

Through a combination of a demanding, yet fascinating, course load and numerous conversations with my professors, I became convinced that graduate school was something I wanted to do. After studying combinatorics (advanced counting techniques), I was very interested in taking a course in graph theory, a topic touched upon in the course, but it was not being offered during my remaining time at Macalester. However, Professor Andrew Beveridge agreed to do an independent study in graph theory with me and to continue it as a summer research project that would culminate in my honors project.

Throughout the independent study and research, Professor Beveridge was very supportive, always making time to meet with me when I needed help and conveying his confidence in my ability to solve difficult math problems.

The research we conducted was at the intersection of probability theory and combinatorics, and eventually led to my successful application to the UC–Berkeley PhD program in statistics.

I want students considering Macalester to know that the professors’ desire to see their students succeed, combined with their willingness to invest time in each student individually, gives Macalester students a major advantage. If you are interested in something, Mac professors will help you find a way to study it and get credit for doing so, and guide you to your future goals.