Career Talks is a monthly lunch seminar exploring life after getting a Math PhD. Speakers will discuss their career path, share any advice they might have, and answer questions. Possible topics of discussion include the following: advice for grad school or applying for jobs, "things I wish I'd known," difficulties encountered, and balancing work with one's personal life.
Our past Career Talks:
Summer Internships (October 28, 2010)
- Jeff Doker is a graduate student studying combinatorics. He interned with Bloomberg Sports in New York.
- Darsh Ranjan is a graduate student studying computational topology. He interned at Earthmine, Inc., which collects and processes 3D street level imagery.
- Alan Wilder is a graduate student studying field theories. He participated in the quantitative summer internship with Credit Suisse in New York.
A nontraditional career in mathematics (April 27, 2010)
- Gary Cornell received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Brown University in 1978. He was a professor of Mathematics, a visiting scientist at IBM's Watson Labs, a program director at the United States's National Science Foundation, and the director of Modern Visual Computing at the University of Connecticut's Center for Professional Development. He has been writing and teaching programming professionals for more than 20 years and is the co-founder of Apress, the fastest growing publisher for IT professionals in the world. He has written numerous best selling books for programming professionals and was a co-finalist for a Jolt Award and won the Readers Choice award from Visual Basic Magazine.
- Julie Rehmeyer received an MS in mathematics from MIT in 1998. She then taught at St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico until 2005. She is now a freelance math and science writer and the math columnist for Science News. She has written for Wired, New Scientist, SIAM News, Discover and other magazines.
Daniel Ford (Google),
Geir Helleloid (Acuitus, Inc.), and
Kate Mattison (Quia Corporation)
A mathematical career in the technology industry (April 8, 2010)
- Daniel Ford received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Stanford University in 2006. Since 2006, he has been a Senior Statistician/Mathematician at Google. His research interests are in algorithms, computation, and phylogenetics.
- Geir Helleloid received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Stanford University in 2007, specializing in combinatorics and group theory. After two years as a postdoc at the University of Texas at Austin, he joined Acuitus, Inc. as a software engineer. Acuitus is a mid-size start-up in Palo Alto focused on developing computer-based personal tutors. The company is currently building a systems administration tutor for the U.S. Navy through a DARPA grant.
- Kate Mattison received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Stanford University in 2007, focusing on string topology. She is currently a Senior Product Analyst at Quia Corporation, an educational technology company, where she spends most of her time designing new features for IXL Math.
Hélène Barcelo (Arizona State University and MSRI) and
Megumi Harada (McMaster University)
A mathematical career at a research university (February 19, 2010)
- Hélène Barcelo received a Ph.D. in mathematics from U.C. San Diego in 1988. She held a postdoctoral position at University of Michigan, and is currently a Professor at Arizona State University. Since 2008, she has served as Deputy Director of MSRI. She also served as Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series A from 2001 to 2009. Her research interests are in algebraic combinatorics, including combinatorial representation theory and homotopy theories in relation to subspace arrangements.
- Megumi Harada received a Ph.D. in mathematics from U.C. Berkeley in 2003. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto, and is currently an Assistant Professor at McMaster University. She has received an NSERC University Faculty Award and an Ontario Early Researcher Award. Her research interests are mainly in equivariant symplectic geometry and its relation to other fields such as equivariant algebraic geometry and geometric representation theory.
Satyan Devadoss (Williams College), Stephan Garcia (Pomona College),
and Gizem Karaali (Pomona College)
A mathematical career at a liberal-arts college (October 19, 2009)
- Satyan Devadoss received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Johns Hopkins University in 1999, focusing on combinatorial topology and algebraic geometry. For three years, he was a Ross Assistant Professor at the Ohio State University, and is currently an Associate Professor at Williams College. He has received NSF research awards, the MAA Alder teaching award, and is married with three children.
- Stephan Ramon Garcia earned a Ph.D. in mathematics at U.C. Berkeley in 2003 before spending three years at University of California Santa Barbara as a postdoc. Currently, he is an assistant professor at Pomona College (one of the Claremont Colleges). His research interests include operator theory, complex analysis, and matrix theory.
- Gizem Karaali received a Ph.D. in mathematics from U.C. Berkeley in 2004. Afterwards, she spent two years at a postdoctoral position at University of California Santa Barbara. Currently, she is an an assistant professor at Pomona College. Her research interests include Lie superalgebras, Hopf algebras and quantum groups. This Fall she is spending part of her sabbatical at MSRI learning tropical geometry.
Ann Almgren (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) and Kristin Lauter (Microsoft Research)
A research career in industry (September 17, 2009)
- Ann Almgren received a B.A. in Physics in 1984 from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 1991 from UC Berkeley. After graduation, she was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton). She then joined the Applied Math Group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and later moved with her research group to Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in 1996. Her research is in computational fluid dynamics, focused primarily on numerical simulation of low-speed fluid flow. Her most recent project is trying to understand ignition of a Type Ia supernova.
- Kristin Lauter received a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1996 from University of Chicago. After graduation, she was a Hildebrandt Assistant Professor at University of Michigan, and then a visiting scholar at Max Planck Institut (Bonn, Germany) and Institut de Mathematiques (Luminy, France). Currently, she is Principal Researcher and the head of the Cryptography Group at Microsoft Research. Her research interests include algorithmic number theory, algebraic geometry, elliptic curve cryptography, hash functions, and security protocols.
Nicholas Eriksson (23andMe) and Helen Moore (Pharsight)
A career in mathematical biology (March 18, 2009)
- Nicholas Eriksson received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from UC Berkeley in 2005, went on to postdoctoral research at MSRI, Stanford University and the University of Chicago, and joined 23andMe in June 2008. He is a statistical geneticist at the personal genomics company 23andMe, where he leads the analysis of 23andMe's genome-wide association studies. Aside from statistical genetics, he has also worked in discrete mathematics, evolutionary and computational biology, and phylogenetics.
- Helen Moore wrote her Ph.D. thesis in geometric analysis and graduated from SUNY Stony Brook in 1995. After time at Bowdoin College and Stanford University, she served as Associate Director of AIM. In 2006, she started working at Genentech, as a Modeling and Simulation Scientist. She recently took a job with Pharsight, as a Senior Scientist providing modeling and simulation for biotech/pharma companies. She has worked on mathematical models of diseases such as leukemia, HIV, and hepatitis C, and has used control theory techniques to optimize patient drug doses.
Serkan Hosten (SFSU) and Ellen Veomett (Cal State East Bay)
A Mathematical Career at a California State University (February 2nd, 2009)
- Serkan Hosten received a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Cornell University in 1997. Currently, he is an an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University. His research interests include combinatorial commutative algebra, computational algebra, discrete geometry and combinatorics, algebraic geometry, linear and integer programming, and algebraic statistics.
- Ellen Veomett received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from University of Michigan in 2007. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at Cal State East Bay and is an organizer of the biannual Bay Area Discrete Math Day (BAD Math Day). Her research interests include combinatorics, convex geometry, metric geometry, algorithms, and computational complexity.
Mike Develin (D.E. Shaw), Lisa Goldberg (MSCI Barra)
A mathematical career in finance (November 11, 2008)
- Mike Develin received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Berkeley in 2003. He currently works as a quantitative analyst for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co. and is a former AIM postdoctoral fellow.
- Lisa Goldberg is currently Executive Director of Analytic Initiatives and Talent at MSCI Barra and Adjunct Professor of Statistics at UC Berkeley. She has previously been a faculty member at the City University of New York.
Dorothy Buck, Imperial College, London
A mathematical career in academia (October 14, 2008)
Dorothy Buck graduated with a PhD in Mathematics in 2001 from University of Texas, Austin. Following this, she was a postdoc in computational biology and biophysics at John Hopkins School of Medicine. She has been on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University, Pomona College, and Brown, and now researches mathematical biology and three-manifold topology at Imperial College London.