**Program:** Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics

**Anticipated Graduation:** Spring 2023

**What degree are you pursuing and why?** I’m pursuing a PhD in Applied Mathematics because I want to do work in mathematical physics. Since I was in the ninth grade back in 2002, I knew I wanted to study physics in college. I started UNCC in 2006 once I finished high school, first majoring in physics; and I eventually realized that, if I wanted to do serious work in physics, I needed to have a doctorate degree in the subject. UNCC’s Department of Physics and Optical Science offers a PhD in optics, but not in general physics, which was what I wanted to get my PhD in. However, UNCC’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers a PhD in Applied Mathematics; and in pursuing a PhD in this particular program, I can study mathematical physics.

**How would you describe the Math Department to someone considering a master's program?** For a student considering an MS in Mathematics, this math department is a fine choice. There are a number of professors, many professors, who study many different subjects in mathematics. A student interested in pursuing an MS in Mathematics ought to be able to find a professor to work with. And the professors care about their students. The professors build up their students.

**How valuable do you feel this degree will be to your career?** This degree will be instrumental for me. I want to do work in mathematical physics. More specifically, I’m going to be doing work in inverse problems. While I can do a lot with the MS in Mathematics I have and the MS in Applied Physics I have, I didn’t solely focus on inverse problems in pursuing either one of these degrees. But as a PhD student pursuing a PhD in Applied Mathematics, this time I am focusing primarily on inverse problems and mathematical physics. And on top of all this, in general, a PhD is essential for anyone who wants to do serious research in academia.