I recently graduated from Hamilton College-a small liberal arts school in central NY-with a Hispanic Studies major and a minor in mathematics.
The question I am most frequently asked is "why math?". It's true that the majority of the American population does not understand math, they choose to close their mind to it before giving it a chance. But the truth is that math is in everything-you can't avoid it. Look at the lottery-your chances of winning can be explained by probability theory. Every time you go to the grocery store you use math, whether you choose to see it or not. Simple things like the way you solve a rubik's cube, or even the migrating patterns of birds, can be explained by math. So to say you don't like math is to say you don't like anything-because math is in everything!
Originally I was a computer science minor as well, which always left people asking me-why computer science? The answer: math is really difficult-computers make my life a lot easier! I wanted to further understand how they work, so I took some introductory comp sci classes and loved them. A few summers ago I combined the two and did computer research at Hamilton-conducting experiments to see how much a user trusts their computer, and then using statistics to analyze the data from the experiments.
And lastly, why Spanish, you ask. A lot of computer scientists and mathematicians are not very passionate about their subject or their work, or think they are too enlightened to talk to you about it. This is one of my pet peeves. Spanish is completely different-everyone who majors in Hispanic Studies is very passionate about all things Hispanic-the culture, the language, the dancing, the food, etc. I find that I share this passion, and it's refreshing to be around people that do more than just crunch numbers all day! I also spent a semester in Madrid, Spain in an immersion program which did nothing but increase my knowledge of, and love for, the Spanish people and language.
To round things out, I love music. I've taken piano and trumpet lessons since the 4th grade (for those of you counting that's 13 years). I find that music takes me to a place where nothing else can bring me. It clears my head, relieves stress, and is just all around good for the soul.
I fully believe in the essence of a liberal arts education-that to be well rounded, intelligent citizens we need a core basis in both the arts and the sciences, and that's something I strive for each day!
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