Jennifer Lynch, SBU Mathematics Alumnus
"I came to SBU to study computer science. I added a mathematics major after I found out it would require only a few extra classes in addition to the math classes required for my computer science major. I had always enjoyed math in high school, but I thought that a math major would only be useful for a handful of professions, such as teachers or statisticians.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that math had many applications in computer science as well. Computer science is more than simply writing computer programs-even upper-level math proved useful since the more theoretical computer science courses propose theories and proofs just like a math class.
Numerical Analysis was the class that truly bridged the gap between computer science and mathematics: since a computer’s memory is finite, computational results are often rounded off, and one of the main focuses of the class is how to minimize and deal with these errors. Other problems deal with performance and memory usage issues involved with various computations. Calculus I and II and linear Algebra proved to be especially helpful in my Numerical Analysis course.
After graduating from SBU in May of 2003, I pursued a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Purdue University. While some math was required for my SBU computer science classes, even more was needed for my graduate courses! Many graduate-level courses delved more into the theory of computer science than my undergraduate courses, and I saw formal mathematical theories and proofs in nearly every class.
I found Cryptography to be another class that focused heavily on the mathematics of computer science, and the concepts I learned in SBU’s Abstract Algebra course played a very important role in Cryptography. I even took a graduate-level math course at Purdue in Complex Analysis, which emphasized applications in many fields of engineering. My math degree from SBU definitely helped me to succeed in my classes at Purdue!
I completed my Masters degree in December of 2005, and I am now employed as a software engineer at Cerner Corporation, a company makes software for hospitals and the health care industry. While I am not currently using much of my mathematical knowledge, after seeing the amount of math I used in college I would not be surprised if I had to pull out my Calculus book yet again in the near future! Even if I am not directly applying higher level math to my job, the logical thinking and problem solving skills developed in my math courses at SBU will always be useful in the equally logical field of computer science.
If anyone would like to contact me about my experience at SBU or the use of mathematics in the field of computer science, they may email me. (Please use a descriptive subject line so I know that it is not junk mail!)"
Jennifer (Camp) Lynch