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Sidafa Conde

Sidafa Conde

Dual major: Mathematics & Accounting

Hometown: New Bedford, MA

"My experience at UMass Dartmouth has been phenomenal. That whole 'world class. within reach' is definitely true."
 
How did you decide on your double major in math and accounting? What do you plan to do with that combination?
I applied as a business major at first. But I wanted to be challenged, so I decided to add computational math as a second major a little later on, in my sophomore year. I’m hoping to go to grad school, hopefully to try to combine both degrees and pursue something in the field of computational finance or computational science.

Have you had a chance to do any internships?

I’ve done a research assistantship with the math department where I did research with the professors. Last summer, I was in North Carolina doing a REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) focused on analyzing risk. And two summers ago, I went to the University of Maryland Baltimore County where I did a scientific and parallel computing REU—the first of its kind. We had to work with supercomputers and kind of do some crude enhancements and analysis and stuff.

 

That first program in Baltimore—I had no idea it existed. One day, my professor talked to me about it and sent the link for me to apply. And I got accepted. Before I left, he started to give me assignments saying, "you should know how to do this for the program." So when I got there, I didn’t need any training—I got right into the work. And my internship in North Carolina was the same way. I’m very excited that I have professors that actually care, that go above and beyond.

Did you feel prepared for your internship experiences?

When I was accepted to the Baltimore program, at first, I was very intimidated because they accepted students from all across the nation. But when I got there, and as we did the work, they started saying we should know certain things—all of which I had already experienced in the math department. I thought, “OK, I’m ready for this.” My advisors and professors had taught me things I could use outside of class.

 

The department has sent us to numerous conferences around the country: Arizona, Reno, and New Orleans. We’ve gotten to collaborate with students from other schools. Almost all of them have been amazed at the level we’re at. They ask, “What year of graduate school are you in?” And we say, “we’re actually undergraduates.”

You’re so busy with course work. What about extracurricular activities?
I’m part of the SIAM (Society for Industrial Applied Mathematics) chapter, and I’m currently the president of the SIAM chapter on campus. All of which may seem like it’s work and no fun—but it’s fun. I have plenty of time to hang out with my friends as well. I’m also part of the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. I guess my time is well balanced. That’s the first thing I learned from my professors and my fraternity.

What words best describe UMass Dartmouth for you?

I'd say that UMass Dartmouth is truly amazing. Balanced. One-of-a-kind. And actually very affordable.


My experience at UMass Dartmouth has been phenomenal.That whole “world class. within reach” is definitely true.

 

The professors care. They’re here not just to teach but to actually show us. It’s awesome. When you walk through the department, they always call you in to have a conversation, even if it’s not about classes. They ask you about your plans for the future. They always encourage you to try new opportunities.

 

Since my freshman year all the way to now, I just keep having great times. Every single day is just better than the last.

What advice would you give to someone interested in UMass Dartmouth?

The math department has asked me to talk to the new students twice now, and I always tell them that even though UMass Dartmouth is affordable, the opportunities that you get are one of a kind. There are so many opportunities.

 

And the professors’ doors are always open. You get to be on that level with them where it’s not just "Professor This" and "Professor That," but you can be on a first-name basis with them and joke around with them—but the respect is still there. They respect you so much, so the respect just comes easily.

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