Research: Network Analysis
Undergraduate Institution: Spelman College
Hometown: Bronx, NY
Why did you choose to come to AMSC?
I choose to come to AMSC because the huge interdisciplinary aspect of the program. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to study before entering the program and the ability to interact with other researchers and faculty in various departments gave me great flexibility in choosing a research area. Also as a rising junior in undergrad, I was able to do a summer research program here at UMD and was able to meet many of the faculty and current graduate students. After talking with some of them and spending time on campus and in the area I found the AMSC program to be the perfect fit for me.
What are your research interests and why?
My research interests revolve around using Markov chain based methods in order to analyze high dimensional data. This day and age, using large graphs or networks is a popular tool for data representation and organization. The questions of interest are related to the dynamics of such networks and new tools need to be developed for their analysis. One main assumption of many researchers in this field is that the high dimensional data has a hidden, low-dimensional structure. The key idea is to construct a mapping that parameterizes this low dimensional structure, revealing the intrinsic geometry of the data. I am currently interested in ways to efficiently explore this intrinsic geometry.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I mainly enjoy spending time with friends, exploring DC and working out in the Rec Center. I love going to various museums and monuments and learning new things outside of mathematics. Working out in the rec center allows me to stay active, meet new people and relieve any stress that I may have had that day.
What are your favorite parts of the greater Washington DC area?
My favorite part of the greater Washington DC area is downtown DC. I love music and I am able to listen to live jazz bands playing as well as many other different genres of music. I also get to experience food from different cultures and go to the different festivals that the area offers.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
To incoming students I would say I have learned two important things. First, don’t ever get too consumed in your work that you can’t find time to do the things that make you happy. Always find time to work on research and do something fun: Balance is key! Also don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and try new things. Second, if at any point you feel like you have no idea what is going on, 9 times out of 10 you are not alone. Grad school isn’t supposed to be a breeze or else everyone would have a PhD J. Just remember to not be afraid to ask for help because you probably aren’t the only one who has the same exact question. Just remember to never stop growing in your research and in yourself.