CSE senior finds community, creativity in UMN math program

June 25, 2022 — For Delanna Do, the community and collaboration she found in the School of Mathematics was one of the coolest parts of her U of M journey. She participated in several department activities, such as the Women in Mathematics student group and the Mathematics Project in Minnesota (MPM), a weeklong event open to students from other universities and focused on building community for students from underrepresented communities. And, the grad students who helped run those activities never hesitated to help Do with math questions or grad school applications.

“My grad student mentors were great because they’ve been exposed to more math,” Do explained. “Sometimes you learn things, and it doesn’t make any sense if you don’t have the context, but they’ve had some real-world experience with it and helped me understand why I was learning certain things.”

Being so involved also helped Do get exposed to different types of math research that grad students and professors were doing.

Applied math is where Do’s interests lie. She’s in a post-baccalaureate research program for the semester at Smith College in Massachusetts. And in the fall, she’ll go to grad school to pursue a PhD in mathematics, where her studies will likely intersect with computer science. Do’s ultimate goal is to work in industry, ideally for a company like NASA, where she can do computational math that applies to space research.

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