Making Mathematics Count
CLASS OF 2015
Emileigh Willems graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with Honors in 2015, She was also recognized as one of the highest ranking members of her class, with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. She began a Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado at Denver in August 2015 to study Applied Math and hopes to find a job doing math in government or industry upon completion of that program.
In high school, Willems was involved in cross country and track, earning an athletic scholarship to run for Wayland. After three semesters on Wayland’s team, Willems decided to focus on her studies, but she is “grateful for the time I got to spend as a collegiate athlete.”
Willems majored in math and was part of Wayland’s Honors Program, which provides students with additional academic challenges within their degree plan, better preparing them for the rigors of graduate programs. Her honors thesis “Coloring Graphs, G3/n with Fractional Powers,” which she calls a “big research project over more math,” is in the field of applied mathematics. While at Wayland, Willems enjoyed attending math conferences with professors and classmates.
When asked if Wayland prepared her for her future, Willems responded: “Absolutely! I cannot brag on the faculty in the mathematics department enough. The small class sizes help of course, but it’s always nice when all of your professors know more about you than just your name and always have their office door open for you. They are all so knowledgeable and eager to help in everything, and that has made the past three years in the math program so enjoyable for me.”
Willems also has one piece of advice for graduating seniors and other recent Wayland alumni: “Do what you love! Most people think it is strange that I like math, but for some reason I do (most of the time). There’s no point wasting time, energy, and money for something that you don’t enjoy. So make it count!”