# Alumni Spotlights

## Geoff Patterson

Geoff Patterson is a graduate student in the mathematics PhD program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. As a graduate student Geoff serves as a Teaching Assistant - instructing precalculus and calculus courses - and conducts research for his PhD dissertation. He expects to receive his PhD in Mathematics in the spring of 2015. Geoff says that the reason he is pursuing a graduate degree in mathematics is because he loved getting his undergraduate degree in mathematics at GVSU and wants to continue learning mathematics.

Geoff graduated from GVSU in 2009, completing a major in mathematics and a minor in statistics. One comment Geoff made about his undergraduate mathematics program is that he didn't realize how important linear algebra (MTh 227 and MTH 327) was while he was a student. He suggests that knowing about matrices is very helpful for anyone who might wind up working with computers. More generally, Geoff believes that a major in mathematics is a versatile thing to have in that it molds students into sophisticated problem solvers and sets them apart in the eyes of prospective employers.

A particular piece of advice Geoff has for mathematics majors is to consider doing a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. These programs are valuable to add to your resume, they are typically paid positions, and they will make you fall in love with mathematics even more.