Student profile: Tricia Hemmesch
Name: Tricia Hemmesch
Major: Mathematics and Economics
More than just numbers
"I’m a Mathematics and Economics double major. I was always interested in math—it came easy to me back in high school. I had no idea what kind of challenging, difficult classes CSB/SJU had to offer! Solving math problems gives me a sense of accomplishment, and I’ve also learned that math is not as black and white as I thought it was. I took Economics to fulfill a core requirement, and it instantly pulled me in. Economics brings theory and real-life together, and it’s a great field for applied math! I hope to work in a field that incorporates both math and economic theory. Both departments require students to take applied as well as theoretical classes. That kind of structure really prepares students for careers in their respective fields and/or graduate study. Since I’m not exactly sure what I want to do yet, I really appreciate that kind of flexibility."
So many favorites
"Some of my favorite professors are Bob Hesse, Tom Sibley and Jennifer Galovich. Bob really tries to keep class interesting and lively—from things like quoting Martha Stewart, to doing little victory dances, to telling funny stories about his kids. Tom and Jennifer really devote a lot of their time to helping students both on coursework and extra-curricular activities. All three are especially involved in things like Math Society events, Pi Day, and conference events."
"I did research last summer for the Mathematics Department in game theory. I worked with Gary Brown. He allowed me to work independently and seek assistance when needed. Math research isn't like most research. In any other natural science field, someone can research in an area, and after a number of weeks or months they can write up their results. Sometimes you might not get what you expected for results, but at least you have results. In math, a person can study and work on conjectures and possibly never get anywhere! Getting stuck on something is very frustrating, but once you can work something out, you get a sort of rush from it! When I finally came up with some theorems, it was very rewarding. Eventually, I was able to come up with an optimal bidding strategy in an area of game theory called the Dollar Auction. I was able to present my work in a presentation both out in Burlington, Vermont at the Mathfest 2002 conference as well as back on campus at our own Pi Mu Epsilon conference in April 2003. It was extremely satisfying to be able to share with others what I had researched and developed. As a result of presenting my work, I was inducted into the national Pi Mu Epsilon Math Society. The opportunities available in connection with doing math research were very beneficial both as a student as well as for future opportunities."