By the Numb3rs Fall 2016


Where can a University of Pittsburgh Math Graduate Degree take you?

Featured Student: Soheil MalekzadehSoheil Malekzadeh

Thesis Title: Geometric Analysis On Metric Spaces
Description: My research is focused on geometric measure theory and analysis on metric spaces. Over the past fifteen years, these subjects have expanded dramatically with applications far beyond pure mathematics in many branches of natural sciences. The generality of these ideas has reconciled a large number of previously singular attempts to extend tools from differential geometry to a much larger class of spaces that are not necessarily smooth.

What are you doing now? (Brief description of your job)
I am currently a senior software developer focusing on the Android platform at YinzCam, Inc. We build apps and software for professional sports teams and leagues, including the NFL, NHL, and NBA. If you have used the official Steelers or Penguins app, you have used one of our products.

What are 2-3 ways your experience at Pitt prepared you for this position?
Being a graduate student at Pitt teaches you how to stay focused on your goals and work hard to achieve them. This initiative and eye for detail has helped me stand out early in my job.

Do you have a word of wisdom for current students or students considering the Math PhD program?
As intimidating as a Math PhD program sounds, putting all that hard work and dedication into learning how to think analytically really sets you apart in the future.

You are still in Pittsburgh, what do enjoy most about this city?
The Pittsburgh community is always lively with events and fun things to do all the time. Nothing beats going to a Pirates game on a beautiful sunny day and being a part of the excitement that goes on at PNC park. The winter weather can sometimes be bitter but Pittsburghers never are. Oh, and a handful of fries in your sandwich is pure genius!

Featured Student: Woden Kusner

Thesis title: Bounds on packing density via slicing.

Woden KusnerWhat are you doing now? (Brief description of your job)
Right now, I am a postdoctoral researcher at Graz University of Technology in Graz, Austria.  I work in the Institute for Analysis and Number Theory as part of a nationwide research project funded by the Austrian Science Foundation.  This is a broad special research area which covers "Quasi-Monte Carlo Methods: Theory and Applications." My work in this project focuses on finding and analyzing various distributions of points on manifolds that are geometrically optimal, in some sense.

What are 2-3 ways your experience at Pitt prepared you for this position?
I believe Pitt gave me the chance to explore a variety of different topics; I find that having certain breadth of knowledge is useful in such a large research program.  I also think that being able to work together with many different people helped prepare me to work successfully in collaborative projects, as well as independently. 

Do you have a word of wisdom for current students or students considering the Math PhD program?
For current students (although I am not so far along as to be dropping pearls of wisdom): there is a certain amount of luck and intelligence involved in mathematics and a lot more tenacity, as you may already know or are just discovering.  Grad school seems like the best time to focus that luck, intelligence and tenacity towards all kinds of different problems with gusto.

I also encourage everyone to apply for fellowships and travel... there are so many programs for students and postdocs. Work abroad, see the world, meet new people, don't be intimidated.  

As you are no longer living in Pittsburgh, what do miss most about this city?
Mostly, I miss Pittsburgh as a whole; I have good memories of so many things from my time there. But I wish I could find a decent hamburger in Austria....

--Story contributed by: Patricia Markham