Lecture series to answer common math question


CSU-Pueblo’s College of Science and Mathematics will continue its Food for Thought Colloquium Series Friday, Oct. 21, at noon in the Chemistry Building, Room 106.

The next lecture in the Food for Thought Colloquium Series will answer questions about what to do with a mathematics degree after graduation. Photo courtesy of maa.org.

The series will welcome MaryClara Jones, an engineer for the Transportation Technology Center, whose speech will seek to provide answers to the question, “What do you do with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics if you are not going to teach?”

It is a question that math majors are generally unable to quickly answer when asked upon finishing their degree.  Jones was asked this question when she graduated from CSU-Pueblo with her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and was faced with that same dilemma herself, she said.

Though she wasn’t sure how to answer the question at the time, she knew that possessing a degree in math would be valuable even if she was unsure of what career she would end up in, she said. Fortunately, she received her answer quickly as she was granted the opportunity for an internship at TTCI the summer after she graduated, she said.

In her position, as a temporary engineering aide, Jones primarily worked with statistics and data reduction for the company, she said. After a few weeks on the job, she realized how integral of a role math and physics were to a world class facility like TTCI and wanted to be a part of the cutting-edge technology that was taking place all around her, she said.

Her speech will discuss TTCI and how her knowledge of mathematics and physics help her in her job all the time. The roles of both play a vital role to her and the everyday operations of the facility, she said.

She will also discuss the path to her education, which began with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and she continued with a master’s degree in industrial engineering, which has lead to her current position working as an engineer for TCCI, she said.

The speech will be the fifth in the series so far this semester. The series will continue every week throughout the semester and school year, with a different speaker and topic of discussion each time. The speeches are generally held on Thursdays or Fridays in the early afternoon.

The series, which started in the 2009-2010 school year, aims to provide insight and perspectives from CSU-Pueblo alumni, community leaders and professionals.  It provides those in attendance the opportunity to learn based off the experiences of others.

Everyone from students and faculty, to the general public are welcome and encouraged to attend. The CSM will provide refreshments, including pizza and soda pop for this event. Attendance for the speech, as well as refreshments, will be free.

For more information regarding the Food for Thought Colloquium Series, visit the department’s website or find them on Facebook. The department has also released its spring newsletter which can be downloaded from their Website.

The CSM office is located in the Life Science Building, Room 106, and can be reached by calling 719-549-2340.