The Charger Blog

Math Major Passionate about Applying Concepts He Learns to Real-World Challenges

Whether he is conducting research or helping friends with their math homework, Nathan Waskiewicz ’20 enjoys the challenge of a math problem. He’s looking forward to applying his education to pursue a career as an actuary.

March 13, 2020

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of Nathan Waskiewicz ’20.
Waskiewicz is passionate about mathematics.

Nathan Waskiewicz ’20 says that although he has always been known as the "math guy," he became especially passionate about the subject during his senior year of high school.

When he began his studies at the University of New Haven, Waskiewicz was an engineering major. Although he says he enjoyed his coursework, he realized his true passion was for mathematics, and he changed his major.

"I appreciate that faculty members incorporate a lot of computer programming into our math classes."Nathan Waskiewicz ’20

"The thought of focusing on math was enticing to me, however alien that sounds to most people," he said. "I love being a math major because it enables me to further explore the topics that interest me the most."

Pursuing research with Houssein El Turkey, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics, enabled Waskiewicz to explore working in Anti-Ramsey Theory and Combinatorics, to, as he said, "count the minimum number of colors needed to guarantee that any coloring of a set of numbers will give a ‘rainbow solution’ to an equation."

Waskiewicz recently submitted the paper about the project to a journal for publication, and he presented his work to the Mathematics Department last semester.

Image of Nathan Waskiewicz ’20.
Nathan Waskiewicz ’20.

"It was a pleasure to work with him on the math research project," said Dr. El Turkey. "I’ve seen firsthand how his curiosity and mathematical creativity developed over the course of the class and project. He is really passionate about mathematics."

A member of the University’s math and physics club, Waskiewicz enjoys sharing his knowledge and appreciation of math with his professors and classmates. He enjoys exploring problems and learning new types of math. He also, at times, becomes the teacher, helping classmates with their math homework.

Waskiewicz, who is interested in becoming an actuary, plans to pursue a career working with data. He is also interested in pursuing a master’s degree in data science at the University of New Haven. He credits his coursework with preparing him for his graduate studies and career.

"I appreciate that faculty members incorporate a lot of computer programming into our math classes," he said. "On top of learning the mathematical concepts, we’re learning programming languages, as well as how the math we’re learning applies to problems in the real world."