Meet a Mathematics Major

Betsy Camano ’14

Extra-curricular activities: 

  • Center for Academic Success Tutor

Why did you choose your major? 

Mathematics covers so many topics and deals with so many aspects of life, and for that reason I wanted a strong, solid foundation on how to approach problems. As I move on to higher mathematics, I sometimes wonder in amazement about how the human mind came to create such a beautiful yet complicated language.

What has been your favorite class? 

When I first walked into Probability (MATH 331), I never thought it would become one of my favorite math classes, but it did. In a way, we have to use intuition to approach problems. Another class that I have learned to appreciate and enjoy over time is Abstract Algebra. The ideas behind this subject are so mind-blowing that it is hard not to like it.

What are your plans after graduation?

In high school, I told myself that I would become a teacher so that I could help students like my peers understand math better. As the eldest in my family, I see my siblings struggle as well. Becoming a teacher or maybe even a professor has always been an option, but now that I know that there is so much out there that relates to my major, I am open to try any interesting profession.

What are the faculty like?

Faculty in the Mathematics department are friendly and knowledgeable. They first try to help us think for ourselves and then help us approach a problem step-by-step. Dr. Tyler, Dr. Hurwitz, Dr. Weld, Dr. Farley, Dr. Goldstone and Dr. Debonis have all been of great help to me.

What’s your favorite thing about this major?

When approaching problems, there is really no formula that will tell you quickly what the answer is, or at least it should not work that way. Before even thinking about using a formula, I have to think about what the problem is really asking. Once I have established what I need to find, then I can proceed to solve the problem. I like this process of thinking.

What’s the most difficult thing about this major?

Mathematics is a field where thinking outside the box is of great help. I think that is the most difficult thing about mathematics. Since preschool, we have been indoctrinated with set findings and ideas. By the time we reach college, it becomes really difficult to have new and original ways of thinking about problems.

What advice would you give to new students trying to select a major?

When choosing a major, think about how much effort you are willing to put into learning about that subject. I do not think it only comes down to you being great or having natural raw talent at a subject, but rather that you are truly interested in that major.