Statement of Purpose

In August 2000, I entered Elizabeth City State University, as an optimistic, self-motivated person, looking forward to mathematical research. As an Applied Mathematics major and Computer Science minor, I was always looking for opportunities to think critically. On May 8, 2004, I crossed over into a new horizon with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics. Now that I have earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics with a concentration in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science minor, I plan to obtain a Master of Science degree and prepare for a doctorial program. During August 2004, Elizabeth City State University began the first semester of the graduate program in the math and computer science department, where I decided to attend. Here, as mathematics major with an applied concentration, many of the courses have challenged me to think on a higher level.

Undergraduate education has yielded interesting experiences. As an ONR/NASA researcher, I participated in undergraduate research throughout each school year. In the spring of 2001, I was part of the Mathematics of the Great Dismal Swamp Team. The Mathematics of the Great Dismal Swamp project enabled me to obtain experience in research. Our team related mathematical concepts to research data we collected from and about the Great Dismal Swamp of Northeastern North Carolina and Southeastern Virginia. While participating in this project, we learned how to research, write lesson plans, and compose activities for grade school children. I was fortunate to intern somewhere every summer since graduation from high school. Coastal Training Technologies in Virginia Beach, Virginia was the place of my very first internship. In summer 2001, I entered the Summer Internships in Science and Technology (S.I.S.T.) program at FermiLab in Batavia, Illinois. There, I had a wonderful advisor and team of mentors who helped me become familiar with Perl, LINUX operating system, and sub-particle physics.

Recently, in May 2005, I participated in the Undergraduate Research Experience in Ocean, Marine, and Space Science internship program on the campus of ECSU. The research experience has enhanced my knowledge of remote sensing and software used, such as ArcGIS, PG-STEAMER, and ArcView, used in this field. In summer 2003, I was a L.E.R.C.I.P. intern at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio and used Mathematica, Techplot, MatLab, and other software applications to visualize data from the several research projects that my mentor was conducting. I was a RISE scholar at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in 2002. During the summer of 2001, I worked as a summer student in the Summer Internships in Science and Technology program at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FermiLab). Each research experience has been another stepping stone to preparation for graduate research. I look forward to conducting research for the master’s thesis and sharing the results with others. Eventually, I plan to obtain a terminal degree in mathematics, education, or a closely related subject. For the period of summer 2004, I studied at ECSU-NAM Summer Research Institute in Computational Science - Scientific Visualization. Participating in this program at ECSU opened my eyes to other options that people with degrees in mathematics have. The field is broad and closely connects to many career paths. We used JAVA, Mathematica, MatLab, FrontPage, and Microsoft Office 2000.

During the fall and spring semesters, I instruct college students as a Teaching Assistant (TA). The first semester in graduate school was a great transitional and challenging period. I learned to improve time management skills by balancing lesson planning, grading assignments, studying and completing my own homework assignments and staying healthy. I look forward to earning a Masters of Science in Mathematics. Current interests include computational science, numerical analysis, and data visualization. This degree will allow me to be more marketable and better equipped for my career as a mathematician.

Making a difference in the lives of others has always been important. I am a firm believer in bringing someone up while in the process of achieving one’s goals and continuing to help afterwards. Serving as a TA has opened my eyes to the realm of adult education. In the future, I also plan to teach and/or consult others in my field. I will also become the first in my household to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees. My younger siblings look up to me and expect me to be a good role model for them. As the oldest child, I want my brothers to believe that if I can do it, they can too. “I promise myself…to give so much time to the improvement of myself that I have no time to criticize others... to think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best…”(My Attitude, unknown) I believe that each experience will continue to teach me and lead me to achieving many of my long-term goals.