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Applied Math Grads on What They Learned and Where They Are Now

portrait of four people smiling at the camera

Photos by Steve Briggs

The first Applied Mathematics Reunion was a celebration of shared passion for the subject, bringing together former classmates, professors, and friends.  

In the atrium of Wentworth Institute of Technology's Center for Engineering, Innovation, and Sciences, recent graduates reflected on their time in the Applied Math program and shared what they’re up to now. 

Sandrah Abbuah ’15 was one of the attendees. A peer tutor and teacher’s assistant during her time at Wentworth, she worked as a co-op for AIR Worldwide before taking a full-time software engineer position with the risk assessment company after graduation. Today, she is a portfolio risk and data analyst with Cambridge Savings Bank. 

“Math was something that I really gravitated toward and, to be more specific, data,” she said. And at Cambridge Savings Bank, I work with Excel, I do a lot of SQL (Structured query language), I do a lot of reporting and dashboarding, and that’s something I really love.” 

She found the practical application of what she learned in an Applied Math classroom to really help others in everyday life. 

“I love that people can see all the wonderful colors and all the charts that I put together for them, describing how the bank and the finances and things that they use throughout their day come together,” she said. 

Pat Pfenning ’17 works as a data engineer and says that he greatly appreciates the smaller class sizes and extra faculty attention he received during his education at Wentworth.  

"[They build] a community around the students and the professors,” he said. “Wentworth is really great about teaching how to think about and how to be part of the working force on a day-to-day basis.” 

When Katie McDonough ’18 looked for a program that would help her hone problem-solving skills, she looked no further than Applied Math at Wentworth.  

“I noticed the curriculum allowed me to learn a little computer science, a little engineering and a lot of math,” she said. “And I really appreciated that, and it has been very applicable now.” 

McDonough currently works in people strategy and analytics as a senior analyst. “I also worked for a period of time as a data engineer, and all the coding skills and problem-solving skills I learned in my major really helped me in that field,” she said.  

For Pfenning, an Applied Math degree allowed him to bring his passion into a full-time career. 

“I try to use Math as much as I can every day. I bring that kind of thought process throughout my working life,” said Pfenning. “I think Wentworth does an excellent job. They're good to their alums. They're good in helping [students] get jobs. This is a great place to be.” 

Find photos below or at our Flickr channel. 

Applied Math Alumni Reunion