Undergraduate Student Spotlight: Meet Daniel Espejo

May 24, 2021

How did you decide to become a math major?

Over the summer, I started working through Spivak's Calculus originally just to prepare myself to take Honors Calculus this school year. However, I quickly fell in love with the precision and logical coherence of rigorous proof-based math. I spent most of my days over the summer working through the book and the hours would fly by as I struggled with a challenging proof and then felt the joy of eventually getting it right. I also started looking into pure math online by browsing the research pages of the professors here, and I realized that math is not simply a hierarchy of increasingly long equations to solve (as high school had led me to believe), but a vast sea of wildly varying fields with so many theories to learn and connect. This really appealed to me, and it became my goal to discover as much of this sea as I can.

Favorite math course(s) and why?

Honors Calculus but the IBL version. It is simply amazing. After taking this course, I have the feeling that I never want to learn math through a traditional lecture format again. IBL is so fun and engaging because it is fueled by collaboration between classmates, constructive debates in class, and the growth of the class as a whole. It's really fun to present my own proofs on the board for the class. Even though I'm just a first year, it makes me feel like a mathematician. I love getting feedback from my peers and constantly improving myself to try to make my presentations better and better.

Do you have any special story to tell that reflects your experience as a math major?

Not any particular one. Just my experience in IBL as a whole.

What are your aspirations?

Perhaps to become a research mathematician (professor), perhaps to work in an area of applied math like algorithms, cryptography, or operations research

What are you excited about doing after graduation?


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