User talk:Ben G. Fitzpatrick

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  • What is the most interesting thing you've found in your research, or which of your projects is most exciting to you? Alison S King (talk) 15:49, 19 January 2019 (PST)

Alison: That's a bit like asking a parent which child is the favorite one! The cop-out answer is whatever one I'm currently working on. But really just trying to understand how life works is fascinating. Ben G. Fitzpatrick (talk) 08:43, 29 January 2019 (PST)

  • What advice can you give to upcoming graduates who are preparing to enter the professional world? Leannekuwahara (talk) 16:37, 19 January 2019 (PST)

Leeanne: I could fill the talk page with advice, so I need to be careful. (1) Prepare yourself for the fact that you will get lost: that is, you will feel out of your element and unprepared. That is fine: listen and be ready to learn more. Old as I am, I still encounter very frequently situations where I don't know what is going on, but I am willing and able to listen and learn (and ask). (2) Think about process rather than content. The technical details, memorized, may speed you up, but if you understand the process you'll be able to fill in the details. (3) Continue to sharpen your communication skills in every way: spoken, written, presented.

  • You briefly talked about working both in the corporate world and in education. Which area do you prefer and why?Austindias (talk) 11:15, 20 January 2019 (PST)

Austin: I can't really answer that so well, because both have pros and cons. Academic life affords one the luxury (and responsibility) to pursue research that's curiosity driven and to work with young scientists, engineers, and mathematicians to develop their capabilities. Private industry is profit-driven, faster paced, but in the end you generate a product that clients are interested in having. The rewards of university work are less tangible and less direct in some ways. Ben G. Fitzpatrick (talk) 08:43, 29 January 2019 (PST)

  • What is one math related skill that you feel biology majors oftentimes lack? Avalekander (talk) 14:44, 20 January 2019 (PST)

Ava: Estimating the rough size of a number of shape of a graph is a skill that many students (not just biologists) lack. I'm not sure this is a "math skill" but it is "related": being able to sift through details of a problem to see the general principles and techniques that apply. Math students often understand the general/abstract stuff well but don't see how/where to apply. Scientists and engineers often understand details well but struggle with "moving up" from a bunch of cases to a "theory." Ben G. Fitzpatrick (talk) 08:43, 29 January 2019 (PST)

  • What study tips would you suggest for Biology students to succeed in the math portion of this Biomathematical Modeling course (especially if math is not our greatest subject)? Desireegonzalez (talk) 19:13, 21 January 2019 (PST)

Desiree: good question! Be patient with yourself. Be ready, willing, and able to focus on things for a reasonable period of time without interruption. Ask. Ben G. Fitzpatrick (talk) 08:43, 29 January 2019 (PST)

  • If you were to explain math in one word what would it be? Falghane (talk) 19:42, 21 January 2019 (PST)

Fatimah: structure. Mathematics is the search for structure. Ben G. Fitzpatrick (talk) 08:43, 29 January 2019 (PST)

Edward: Though I am very fond of Leonard Euler, Simon Laplace, John von Neumann, and Alan Turing, I'd have to say my favorite is Katherine Johnson, whom you might know from the movie Hidden Figures. I like to think what she'd have been able to do had she lived and worked in a more equitable time. Ben G. Fitzpatrick (talk) 08:43, 29 January 2019 (PST)

Angela: Dr. Dahlquist and I were collaborating on research with a group of students when we came up with the course idea. I had taught modeling courses with physics/engineering/economics applications, and this course seemed like a natural addition. Ben G. Fitzpatrick (talk) 08:43, 29 January 2019 (PST)

  • What do you find the most intriguing about this course? Brianna N. Samuels (talk) 08:49, 29 January 2019 (PST)