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Major: Applied Mathematics

Graduation Year: Spring 2019

Activities: Supplemental instructor for the Math 55 courses this semester, Powell Scholars program and the Freshman Honor's Program.

Luis Ortiz

math major Luis Ortiz
"A phrase that I hear quite often is that math is a universal language, which is precisely why math was so appealing to me from a young age. Coming to the United States came with a language barrier, but math was always the subject that I did the best in, finding it easier than others, despite not fully knowing the language yet."

Q: Why did you decide to come to Pacific?

A: I came to Pacific because of the great opportunities which I was offered here. I applied to the Powell Scholars Program my senior year, and I received an interview, and later an acceptance letter, and I knew this was the right place for me; a perfect blend of a rigorous program and the ability to pursue my interests in many different fields. Even before the Powell Scholars interview, I had visited the school on a yearly basis for the past three years!

Q: Why did you choose to study math?

A: A phrase that I hear quite often is that math is a universal language, which is precisely why math was so appealing to me from a young age. Anywhere I looked, I could see math, and my parents nurtured this interest even at the elementary school level. Coming to the United States came with a language barrier, but math was always the subject that I did the best in, finding it easier than others, despite not fully knowing the language yet. As time went on, I focused more and more on math, and pretty soon, I couldn't imagine myself studying anything else!

Q: What's your favorite Pacific memory?

A: It's not easy to choose a single memory, but if it had to be one, I'd say it was my first day on campus as a freshman, being dropped off by my parents. It was here that I realized that, on top of being independent for my own living, I now had nearly full control of my educative path. I could explore different subjects and pursue those that I found interesting, unlike high school, which required following strict curriculum with the sole aim of becoming more appealing to colleges, rather than nurturing an environment where students can explore their passions.

Q: What would you tell a prospective student who wants to study math?

A: If you are unsure of a concentration, be sure to explore all the math related options and fields that you would like to study, and focus on getting a strong basis in all of these before making a decision on what branch you would like to pursue. Applied mathematics and mathematics can take you anywhere from economics to physics to statistics. Having a wide range of classes to begin with will allow you to explore which fields you like, and will therefore help you choose a concentration later. Math is not just theoretical analysis and proofs, although this is a crucial component, the math program at Pacific allows you to see where these formulas and ideas are coming from, as well as to where they are used!

Q: Anything else you'd like to share?

A: Being a supplemental instructor, either officially or unofficially, allows you to stay current on all past math concepts. If given the choice, I would strongly recommend others that they take the opportunity, as helping others understand the material only helps you solidify your own understanding!