Math Meets Materials Science and Engineering
Evan Smith is originally from Southern California, where he completed his first two years of undergraduate coursework at a community college. He enrolled in the undergraduate program at Boise State in Fall 2014, majoring in Applied Mathematics. One of the most significant reasons for Evan’s choosing Boise State was the location. He absolutely loves the weather and variety of outdoor activities here in Boise.
Evan was looking for an internship at the beginning of his senior year so he attended the Boise State Career and Graduate School Fair to see what opportunities were available. He happened to drop by the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSMSE) graduate program information booth and learned more about graduate school opportunities. Evan was convinced that the Program was right for him so he applied for admission.
Evan was accepted to the MSMSE Ph.D. Program in Fall 2016. The Program has helped Evan develop great research and professional skills. Faculty and staff have encouraged him to apply for grants and they help him with the grant writing process. The Albertsons Library also offers some amazing materials science resources, which are extremely helpful for Evan’s research.
Evan’s research involves creating mathematical models from empirical data generated from lab experiments, and then studying the models to find trends and similarities. What he enjoys most is that he can use his math background to complete the research. He also appreciates the opportunity to create chemicals in the lab and then computationally model them. He adds, “I really like getting my hands dirty in the lab.”
Evan chose materials science and engineering because, as he commented, “Engineering is just so heavily related to math that I figured I might as well get a math degree. Then if I ever come back to do any engineering work or enroll in grad school and major in engineering, my background in math would be helpful. My goal after grad school is get hired locally. I really want to stay here!”
Evan recommends that prospective students connect with professors with whom they are most interested in working before applying to the program. Doing so helps students find out more about the many different materials related research opportunities that exist. He also recommends applying for admission as early as possible to allow plenty of time to for the review process.