David Yang '24
First math class at Swarthmore: Math 28 (Linear Algebra with Theory)
What was your favorite math class and why? This is a tough one -- there are so many great classes to choose from. I'd probably say Math 67 (Modern Algebra) since I enjoyed the class structure and really liked my classmates. I ended up working on a lot of the discussion and homework problems with others, and the process of discussing our thoughts and ideas and collaborating made the class a fun and transformative experience. I also think our professor (Cathy Hsu) did a great job fostering group collaboration through Office Hours and "Peer Review" Sessions.
Why did you become a math major? I've honestly always enjoyed math. I did a lot of math competitions growing up but have really started to enjoy the "college" style of math, where you're learning to learn rather than learning to compete. I've always loved the problem-solving and oftentimes, ingenuity required to see a problem in a certain light.
How do you expect to use your mathematics after leaving Swarthmore? I plan to work towards a Ph.D. and eventually enter academia in either math or a math-related field in the coming years. I know that no matter what I pursue, I'll build on what I've learned at Swarthmore both in and out of the classroom; hopefully, one day, I'll be able to support and uplift my students the same way the professors here have done for me.
What advice do you have for an incoming student? Reach out to others -- whether that's your professors, classmates, the Pirates, or the Clinicians -- everyone wants to help and see you succeed. The Swarthmore math department is super warm and welcoming; collaborating with and interacting with others in the department can also be extremely rewarding.
Anything else you'd like to share? Feel free to reach out to me over email or in person -- I'm always happy to chat and would love to help in any way I can :)