Prior to coming to UNL, I attended Saginaw Valley State University, where I was a double major in mathematics and physics. Growing up, I actually did not find math interesting as a subject. I found the interpretation of math as a disjoint set of formulas to be memorized frustrating, especially whenever I would get problems incorrect. It wasn't until I took physics in highschool that I came to think of myself as someone who could do STEM. Before that, I would have said I wanted to be a welder, death metal musician, or both.

It wasn't until I took Calculus II at SVSU that I considered majoring in math (anyone who has taken calculus II knows how insane that sentence is). I attribute this entirely to my instructor, Dr. Tony Crachiola, who motivated everything amazingly, and who assigned interesting projects applicable to the material (I think I proved that the surface area of Gabriel's horn is infinite, but its volume is finite). I still wanted to be a physicist, but math was cool now.

As the years went on, my interest in physics waned, while my interest in mathematics only continued to grow. I decided to seek out a project, and found myself working under Tony again studying the group structure of elliptic curves with Maple. Importantly, I actually enjoyed doing research this time through, as this was the third time I found myself involved in a research project. Prior to that I had studied electrical properties of solids, and how how students in physics understand Taylor series. The research in those other projects was cool, but I had a hard time getting excited about it the way mathematics excited me.

My time at SVSU unfortunately had to end. After applying to a bunch of places around the midwest, I got accepted to UNL on my birthday, which is probably the best birthday present you can give a stressed out undergrad during the application process (Thanks Tom and Jamie). I moved to Lincoln, and have been enjoying my time at UNL since. Since starting at UNL, I have added rock climbing, biking, and backpacking to an already large list of interests including (but definitely not limited to) playing guitar and roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons. Since then, I have gone on many rock climbing and backpacking trips throughout the US, and have many more in the works.