What are our alumni doing?

Ferris Jumah

Ferris Jumah

Graduation Year: ’12

Major(s) and minor(s): statistics major, math minor

Post-grad education:


Current position: CEO

Employer: Surge.ai


The most helpful aspects of my undergraduate education in mathematics were: On a high level, mathematics teaches you to be very good at problem solving. That is highly valuable in every aspect of industry. Those with math or math based degrees tend to have an easier time finding ANY kind of role they want. Math lets you pursue an industry and role you can be passionate in, something I valued immensely. More specifically, probability, basic statistics, linear algebra, and proof based calculus have been most helpful. I've spent a decade in data science in big tech and startups. Real world data sets and problems are messy. A statistical mindset, matrix framing, and probabilistic intuition can make you a superhero in industry. In other words; focus on the question you have and the information you have to solve it, everyone works with datasets and datasets are all matrices (which lets you can frame your problems and approaches easier), and assigning assumptions and probabilities to everything lets you predict better. This makes you dangerously good at solving problems.


The advice I’d offer to current undergraduate students in mathematics: Most of you are in school to get a job. It's easy to focus on grades and lose that perspective. Good grades matter but internships, projects, student organizations, research are all far more valuable towards the goal of getting a job. A 4.0 GPA is less interesting than a 3.4 and an internship. The best part of doing all of these activities is that you get the chance to explore different roles and careers before having to commit to them (getting a job after graduation). This is a superpower, use it. The best part is that you have a massive alumni network and professors with industry connections to rely on. Get on LinkedIn. Reach out to alum! They are always happy to chat and give you advice. Most people are.


In a typical day in my work, I: operate a startup that figures out whats trending across the whole internet for literally anything in real time. Rather than the classic approach of surveys, we help companies figure out what people want faster and at scale. I manage a team of engineers, product managers and marketers and largely focus on growing our customer base as well as tuning our machine learning algorithms.

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Page last modified November 28, 2022