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Katelyn Becker '25

Katelyn Becker

First math class at Swarthmore:  My first math class at Swarthmore was Math015, single-variable calculus.

What was your favorite math class and why?  My favorite math class at Swarthmore was Math044, differential equations. The material was applicable to many real-world problems in chemistry, economics, neuroscience, biology, physics etc. I enjoyed learning about math with such tangible and useful manifestations. Also, the course drew connections between many concepts that I had learned about in other classes; I enjoyed searching for patterns and solving the puzzle-like questions.

Why did you become a math major?  I became a math major after being inspired by my experience in Math015-SP. The discussion and inquiry-based structure of the course helped me to see the utility and joy of math. I am also majoring in cognitive science, so using math as a tool in modeling and data analysis further supported my choice to pursue a major in math.

How do you expect to use your mathematics after leaving Swarthmore?  No matter the career path I choose, I will use the logical problem-solving skills that studying math at Swarthmore has given me. 

What advice do you have for an incoming student?  I would advise incoming students to take risks and to take advantage of all of the resources that the math department provides. Office hours, TA sessions, math clinics, and tutors are extremely helpful tools, and sometimes the most intimidating courses have the most payoff!

Anything you would like to share?  I wouldn't have studied math if I didn't enter my first math class at Swarthmore with an open mind and if it weren't for the exceptional professors at Swarthmore. I am so glad that I embraced the challenge and found that math is a passion of mine!