Being not only an African American but also a woman, the odds were against me from the very beginning. With hard work and motivation and the importance of education stressed to me by my mother, I was determined not to become yet another statistic. My name is Chakara T. Murray and I am a senior professional mathematics major at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. My overall objective is to obtain the necessary experience that will allow me to excel in a career that will utilize my skills in numerical analysis. Upon completing my undergraduate studies I plan to pursue a Master’s Degree in Mathematics with an applied concentration in Statistics

“There are three types of lies – lies, damned lies and statistics” – Mark Twain

Perhaps Mark Twain did not see the beauty of numbers the way in which I do because ever since grade school mathematics has been my favorite subject. Once I attended college I was afforded the opportunity to be exposed to wide varieties of mathematical courses which include Calculus I, II, III, Logic and Theory, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory, Real Analysis I &II and Abstract Algebra I & II. It was here that I realized that I had a genuine interest in applying mathematical and statistical theories to real world concerns.

During the summer of 2005 I was given the opportunity to participate in the Undergraduate Research Experience in Ocean Marine Science (URE-OMS). Having never done research before I was unsure of what to expect however this experience has turned out to be extremely beneficial and worthwhile. It has given me a first hand glimpse into what it takes to complete a successful research project. This program has also exposed me to various computer software programs that I may not otherwise have had the opportunity to explore i.e. Unix, html, GIS, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Macromedia Fireworks and Remote Sensing. As a member of the dolphin team our main objective was to determine if there is a correlation between the presence and absence of dolphins according to sea surface temperature and chlorophyll-a levels.

Upon completion of this program I will have achieved a sense of fulfillment knowing that my research has made an impact. I would encourage everyone to take part in a research program or an internship for there is no experience parallel to hands on experience.