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Caitlyn Parmelee

"There are two things you need to succeed in grad school in math: confidence and perseverance.  At Naz, there were lots of people (especially faculty) that believed in me and that really helped me to develop the self-confidence in mathematics that has helped me survive three and a half years of grad school.  The faculty was incredibly supportive of me in so many ways.  The biggest skill I took away from Naz was how to ask questions. In fact, I was encouraged to question everything (and I did).  This sort of attention to detail has been a major factor of my success in graduate school.  One of the most important classes I took at Naz was the Problem Solving course.  Some of the questions we worked on were unanswered which (though I didn't know it then) was preparing me for research.  You have to be willing to try a lot of wrong things before you stumble across something useful.  Naz also provided so many opportunities that helped me get in to grad school: the undergraduate courses, going to conferences and presenting our research, taking the Putnam, etc.  At the encouragement of my advisor, I also attended a summer REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) at MSRI in Berkeley, CA, where I did research in coding theory.  This incredible experience really solidified my desire to go to grad school."
 
"The opportunities, the atmosphere, and the beautiful campus all made for an amazing four years.  But the really amazing part was the people; my classmates, professors, supervisors, teammates, and coaches all helped me grow into the person I am today.  Naz provided me with exceptional support and encouragement. I can't put into words how much my experience at Naz meant to me."

"My advice to current and prospective mathematics majors:  Ask questions. Always. I can't tell you how many times my classmates have come up to me after class and thanked me for asking questions during lecture. Everyone is afraid to embarrass themselves in front of the class or professor. Don't let that stop you from learning."

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