Virginia Forstall '15


p1Position: Operations Research Scientist at Leidos
Thesis: Iterative Solution Methods for Reduced-Order Models of Parameterized Partial Differential Equations
Advisor: Howard Elman
Application Area (during AMSC studies): Computational Fluid Dynamics

What is your current position? What do you enjoy about it?
I am an Operations Research Scientist at Leidos. My favorite things about the job are working with scientists and engineers of different backgrounds and working in a collaborative atmosphere. I also enjoy the variety of problems and real world applications.

What are your favorite memories of your graduate school experience?
The work, especially research, is definitely memorable. I particularly liked those few years focusing on research where you can spend all day exploring a new algorithm or method even if you’re not sure it is going to work out for your problem or to learn a new programming language. Also, many of the conversations, seminars, lunches, and cups of coffee shared with fellow graduate students.

What do you think the best parts of AMSC are?

Absolutely the best part of AMSC is the breadth of faculty that can advise you and the departments where you can study. There are so many options for research that you can try different things and find something that interests you. The opportunity (and requirement) to take courses in other departments is incredibly valuable.

What advice would you give to current students?

Set a regular daily schedule and stick to it. Make friends with your fellow students and officemates. Ask graduate students further along at UMD for advice. Choose an advisor with whom you get along. Be open to new research areas. If you think you might want to work outside of academia, get summer internship(s).