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Meet Tayler Pangburn

Drexel University Math Student Taylor Pangburn

Degree: PhD Candidate (5th year student)
Hometown: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Research Interests: partial differential equations and numerical analysis, specifically homogenization theory and inverse problems
Accepted Publication: “Scattering by a bounded highly oscillating periodic medium and the effect of boundary correctors”, SIAM Journal of Applied Mathematics

From a young age, math has been my number one interest in school. I enjoyed solving problems both in and out of the classroom. It was no surprise to my family and friends when I started my undergraduate career in mathematics at Drexel University in 2011. Throughout that time, I took any opportunity I found to dive deeper into the theory. During my research with Dr. Pavel Grinfeld as a STAR Scholar, I learned the importance of numerical methods in mathematics and fell in love with how theoretical and numerical analysis could work together to solve any problem you could fathom. At that moment, I knew I would want to continue my research career as a PhD student and was happy to do so at Drexel starting in 2015.

During my first term as a graduate student in the department, I was lucky enough to take a course in Partial Differential Equations with Dr. Shari Moskow. Differential equations was one of my favorite courses in my undergraduate career, and I enjoyed the subject matter of this course even more. I started work in homogenization theory of partial differential equations with highly oscillating coefficients within my first year and have recently finished my first accepted publication (“Scattering by a bounded highly oscillating periodic medium and the effect of boundary correctors”, SIAM Journal of Applied Mathematics).

No one said getting a PhD would be easy, and the program has come with its challenges as well as its rewards. One of the best things about the mathematics department at Drexel, however, is the people. The qualifying exams at the end of our first year were both stressful and difficult to prepare for, but my classmates and I worked through the journey together and are better mathematicians and friends for it. That is all not to mention the professors who answered our questions, however crazy they sounded, while we were studying.

Between my undergraduate and graduate career, I had about a year to work in the financial sector. I enjoyed my time in industry and hope to return once graduate school is complete. I am currently researching roles in data science and artificial intelligence but will be applying to a multitude of sectors. The beauty of math is that it is used everywhere!

Overall, my time with this department has taught me a lot about mathematics and, dare I say it, myself. I’ve learned that no one is perfect, you should always ask someone for help when you need it, and most importantly, to never stop learning.