What is your job and for whom do you work?
I am a mathematician at Sandia National Laboratories where I am part of a Modeling and Simulation team. We develop computer programs that simulate real events to understand what happens to the electronics. For example, we can study what happens to the body of a car in a collision with modeling instead of having to crash a car. Our simulation helps engineers make safer cars.
What math skills are most helpful to you in your work?
I use a lot of mathematics in my job! Math is a key component of all computer codes and programs.
What has helped you be successful in math?
The math I learned serves as a foundation that lets me create and apply ideas to many fields in science and engineering. I also use math for my hobbies outside of work! I like to play racquetball where I constantly have to calculate the trajectory of the ball. When I hit it, where is it going to go? Will I win the point? I use math to help me win! I prefer to think of all math like a puzzle or a game; once I understand the rules about how to play the game, it becomes fun to try to win!
What advice do you have for parents about math?
Math homework is the same way; once you understand the ideas behind the numbers, and if you keep practicing, you will become a pro!