Features

Looking at Math and Engineering Majors Beyond Bethel

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MISHAWAKA—Here is a special edition of graduate school tips, this one for math and engineering majors. This edition is a little different because it will look at the transition for engineering majors from Bethel to Notre Dame or Trine, then their transition from that school into the work force. For the math majors, there will be a brief discussion of post-undergraduate options and some general study recommendations.  

For engineering majors, the first thing Sherri Campeau, M.S., wanted to point out is the difference between Notre Dame and Bethel culture. Preparing for the culture shock of having to dig one’s heels in will benefit an engineering student greatly. Campeau recommend looking into the Civil Engineering degree at Notre Dame where students get to go on trip.  

“Students have the best of both worlds. They get to be at Bethel, where we have community and [we’re] Christ-centered,” Campeau said. “They get be involved in…all the things that come with being involved at a smaller college. And then [they] go to Notre Dame and take advantage of their resources.” 

Campeau appreciates the alumni and job opportunities at Notre Dame. Campeau says their network is amazing especially for students involved in the engineering programs. She encourages engineering student to get internships even in their first year of learning at Bethel as it will set students up for the long run. The internship a student may get in their freshman year could be the job they end up working for when they graduate from Notre Dame or Trine. Campeau says she is excited about job placement after graduation for these engineering students.  

Campeau recommends finding a network in which you can work for engineering and good summer jobs to give students better opportunities in the future. She said Bethel is working on an agreement with another school for online schooling for engineering students that could open new majors for engineering students interested in geological studies.  

Alice Ramos, Ph.D., had some practical tips when it came to seeking higher education or when students find themselves on the job field with a math education degree. She said there are many opportunities for a math major to diversify themselves. There is a degree called data science where one could explore math more through St. Mary’s as a 4/1 program and one could get a master’s, or they could earn their Ph.D. and work at university, teaching math.  

The tips Ramos explored were getting more acquainted with how one learns. She recommends learning the structures of something rather than trying to get the right answers.  

“The trick is…as you work your way through, that you really focus in on internalizing all the logical concepts of mathematics,” Ramos said. 

When it comes to proofs, the concepts will help a great deal. She recommends that when one hits a wall, they find a way to dig in and to learn to teach the concept to themselves, being able to explain concepts to others and themselves. 

“Notation is important because math is a language,” Ramos said. “If you learn to speak it well . . . you will find that notation will speak back. It will tell you what to do next.” 

Ramos believes math is good at talking back when one talks it through, learning the concept that way.   

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