CAMCOS Spring 06 Team
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Where are CAMCOS alumni now?


Participating in a CAMCOS project as a student trains you to do real-life research and to work well in a team. It is therefore no surprise that our alumni have gone on to success in many different areas. Some have gone to find challenging industry jobs, others have continued to pursue doctoral degrees. Here are some of their stories.

Felipe Ibarra

  • What degree did you get at SJSU, and when?
  • BS Math, 2003.
  • How did your CAMCOS experience change your life?
  • During my job interviews, the point of my resume was my experience with Math 203. This real life experience is what gave me the edge.
  • What are you doing now?
  • In October 2003, I was offered a position as an actuary with Hewitt Associates in San Francisco. Hewitt Associates is a global outsourcing benefits consulting firm with offices in 39 different countries and over 20,000 employees. As a pension and retiree medical actuary, I worked on a range of projects for various Fortune 500 companies located here in the Bay Area. After passing a few examinations and almost 4 years at Hewitt, I decided to move on and out of the actuarial profession.

    I started at PG&E in May of 2007 as a risk analyst for commodities trading, primarily Electricity and Gas. Here my tasks include constructing and monitoring risk models for electric and gas traders, monitoring trader accuracy and conformity of certain limits (credit and individual trader limits), automating daily routines and validating trader inputs which are used as internal controls, and supporting quantitative analysts by running and interpreting risk models.

Dustin Wallace

  • What degree did you get at SJSU, and when?
  • BS Applied/Computational Mathematics, 2005.
  • How did you get to SJSU?
  • From De Anza Community College.
  • What was your CAMCOS experience like?
  • I was thrown into the middle of a project that took the entire semester to begin to understand. Little did I realize how much like real life it was. In light of this, I learned how to sacrifice my desire to understand it all from the beginning in order to focus on the tasks at hand that needed my attention to move the project forward. In the end, we didn't complete the project, but rather handed it off to the next team. Once again, this imitated real life. Through CAMCOS I learned to tackle complex problems with small steps.
  • How did your CAMCOS experience change your life?
  • Having the CAMCOS project on my resume helped me stand out above the rest when looking for an internship. The valuable lessons I learned prepared me for the professional world.
  • What are you doing now?
  • I am working full time as the Sun Developer Network Web Analyst for Sun Microsystems, Inc. I plan on completing my MBA in the future.
  • How is your CAMCOS experience useful to your daily life?
  • When facing challenging projects, my CAMCOS experience reminds me that I can tackle anything.
Dustin
		  Wallace Photo

Alina Alt

  • What degree did you get at SJSU, and when?
  • MS Math, Spring 2006.
  • What was your CAMCOS experience like?
  • Most of the time the job of a student is to conquer a subject or to find a solution to a problem that has already been solved. It is extremely rare for a student to get an opportunity to attempt to solve a real life problem that is possibly unsolvable. CAMCOS provides such an opportunity and it gives a student a taste of what it means to be a real scientist.
  • How did your CAMCOS experience change your life?
  • Before joining CAMCOS I had no idea what would be my thesis topic and who would be my thesis adviser. While working with professor Malyshev on the CAMCOS project Translating Differential Equation Models Into Kernel Methods for Data Analysis, the idea for my thesis began to materialize, and a year later I was able to finish my thesis under supervision of Professor Malyshev on "Application of Regularization techniques to data fitting with PDE models" - a topic which is deeply rooted in the CAMCOS project.
  • What are you doing now? How is your CAMCOS experience useful in your daily life?
  • Currently as a software engineer at Sportvision, Inc., I encounter many unsolved problems. My CAMCOS experience has definitely contributed to my confidence of being able to approach such problems and possibly solve them.

Dave Barnes

  • What degree did you get at SJSU, and when?
  • My degree was MS Mathematics, Winter 2002.
  • How did you get to SJSU?
  • I graduated from CSU Bakersfield with a BS Mathematics in 1997. I was a beach lifeguard, customer service rep for a rental car company, and a high school teacher before I finally returned to get my masters in the fall of 2000.
  • What was your CAMCOS experience like?
  • CAMCOS gave me the opportunity to experience a number of things I would not have in a traditional math or computer science course. I saw a little of how research was done away from academia, I helped to solve a real world problem, and I was able to interact with someone from outside the university.
  • How did your CAMCOS experience change your life?
  • CAMCOS was a good addition to my resume as I finished my Masters degree. Even if it didn't tip the scales in an interview, it did give me confidence that I had done something similar to what I might do in industry.
  • What are you doing now?
  • I am currently a Systems Engineer, Sr. at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Sunnyvale. I have been there a little over five years, and have worked in Missile Defense Systems the entire time. In my latest assignment I led the development and test of a pattern match algorithm to be included in a suite of algorithms for on-board tracking and discrimination in a missile defense system. Previous to that I worked a number of other tasks, including flight data analysis and feature extraction for discrimination, infrared sensor modeling, graphical user interface development, and image processing.

Katherine Shelley Nolan

  • What degree did you get at SJSU, and when?
  • MS Math, August 2007.
  • How did you get to SJSU?
  • I was born in Mountain View and have lived in Cupertino my whole life until I moved to San Diego for college. From West Valley College, I transferred to UCSD, where I earned a B.A. in Math and Economics (joint major). After UCSD I came to San Jose State.
  • What are you doing now?
  • I am an aviation analyst for a small software company that has developed software used by the FAA in their analysis. I work in an entry level position assisting FAA personnel from across the country perform daily analysis of radar data. My daily duties vary from user support to data analysis, and I have already had the opportunity in my career to take part in relevant, long term projects undertaken by the FAA.

Earvin Balderama

  • What degrees did you get at SJSU, and when?
  • I got a BS in Applied Math in 2004.
  • How did you get to SJSU?
  • I went straight from high school.
  • What was your CAMCOS experience like?
  • It was a learning experience unlike any other class. The people involved were a team, and not the typical impersonal dynamic of a classroom. Although the professor helped a lot by leading and showing the correct path of action, each student's ideas were welcomed and encouraged.
  • How did your CAMCOS experience change your life?
  • CAMCOS doesn't just emulate real life situations, it is a real-life project. That experience gave me the confidence to apply to grad schools and the confidence to work on other projects, knowing I can do the work either by myself or within a group.
  • What are you doing now?
  • I'm currently at UCLA trying to get a Ph.D. in Statistics.
  • How is your CAMCOS experience useful in your daily life?
  • Learning the S language was very useful in grad school. In UCLA, we use R to code almost all of our statistical programs.



Center for Applied Mathematics, Computation and Statistics
 Department of Mathematics • San Jose State University • One Washington Square • San Jose, CA 95192-0103
www.math.sjsu.edu/camcos
camcos@math.sjsu.edu
fax (408) 942-5080