Current Position: Mathematician in the Air and Missile Defense sector at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)

Dissertation Title: Modeling the Transfer of Drug Resistance in Solid Tumors

Advisor: Doron Levy

Application Area (during AMSC studies): Biology and behavioral science


What is your current position? How did you come to know about this position, and what do you like about it?

I am a mathematician in the Air and Missile Defense sector at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). I graduated in 2018 and have been at APL for just over two years now. I learned of this position, and successfully applied, because a good friend from AMSC, Geoff Clapp, graduated a couple years before me and was working there and recommended it. For me it's a perfect fit—my group is research oriented and we work on the cutting edge of algorithm development as it pertains to homeland defense.

What are your favorite memories of your graduate school experience? What about from the AMSC program specifically?

Besides the continuing education I received, my favorite part about the AMSC program was the variety of teaching options. I loved getting to teach my own classes, either during the semester or the summer, and enjoyed the times I TA'd and the different interactions I could have with the professors and instructors. Explaining ideas to people who might not be mathematically inclined is a constant in whatever future you're looking for, so it was great practice. 

In what ways did the AMSC program (especially outside of basic academics) help prepare you for your current position? 

The AMSC program best prepared me for the post-graduate world in the amount of diverse learning opportunities it provided. I was able to take classes in several different disciplines, which helped me fit into a job with an application area I had never studied before. 

What advice would you give to current students? 

My first advice, especially to incoming students, would be to not trust the people that tell you your first year is fun or easy. Your first year is going to be overwhelming, but AMSC is a program set up to help you succeed as long as you just stay on the path. For older students, start going to career fairs, talking to other faculty members, and looking for job opportunities years before you need to. The connections I made, even for places and jobs I ended up not applying to, were invaluable and helped contextualize those last years of writing and finishing the dissertation.