Hometown: Garnerville, NY
“When I talk to girls who are in high school, I tell them not to let anyone tell them that they can’t do math or be in math-related fields because they’re girls. Math is a male-dominated field, and we need more women in it.”
Math has been Lindsey Heiberger’s favorite school subject since elementary school. By the time she was a senior in high school, she knew she wanted to major in math in college.
“I was always good at math. It comes naturally to me,” Lindsey says. “I was the kid who was always raising her hand in class to give an answer.”
Now, Lindsey is a junior math major and honors student at STAC, where she is excelling in all of her courses.
So no one was surprised when Lindsey was chosen, along with two classmates, to present at the Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics Spring Research Conference, held in conjunction with the Mathematical Association of America, in Los Angeles.
Together with her peers and with support from math professor Dr. DeWitt, Lindsey presented to students and professors from across the country. Their research project explored the symmetries of various dimensional hypercubes. The group began with the square and the cube, then moved on to the tesseract (the 4D version of a cube) and the penteract (the 5D version of a cube). Lindsey and her team then proved and presented their findings.
“It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I was nervous to present on such a difficult topic,” Lindsey says. “I quickly got over my fear and gained confidence. It was definitely rewarding.”
On Day Two of the conference, the STAC team participated in a poster session along with nearly 50 other high school and college teams. Lindsey and her team were recognized with a merit award for their poster (team is pictured left: Daniel Viaud, Heather Palmer, and Lindsey).
Lindsey is also involved with a STAC program called Girls Exploring Mathematics (GEM). The program, led by Dr. DeWitt, puts female math majors in local high schools where they can talk to girls interested in mathematics.
“We show high-school girls why math is fun and how it applies to the real world every day in ways they don’t even think about,” Lindsey explains. We apply math fundamentals in the form of hands-on experiments and crafts. The idea is to show them they should not be intimidated by math.”
In her “downtime,” Lindsey keeps busy as the vice president of her class and as a member of the college’s Psychology Club, Random Acts of Kindness Club, and Gender & Sexuality Alliance.
Upon graduation, Lindsey would like to pursue her master’s and doctoral degrees. She says she is considering a number of careers, including engineering, actuarial science, and teaching.
“When I chose to major in math, I wondered if I should choose something with clear and direct career path instead. Presenting at and attending the conference opened my eyes to all the possibilities in math,” Lindsey says. “I’m passionate about math. I’m still not entirely sure what I want to do with it, but I still have time to decide.”