## SNAPSHOTS: MEET VIGNESH IYER

*Vignesh Iyer*

**How did you become interested in math?**I’ve always gravitated toward STEM subjects even in elementary school. In college,
I was exposed to various subjects but a common language each subject used was math.
I’m a curious student and hungry to consume as much knowledge as possible. Math is
a universal language that allows me to communicate with those in different fields
and tells me how things work. Math has allowed me to explore other subjects and influences
the way I interact with problems—from social sciences to applied sciences and engineering.

**What kind of internship did you have while at the U? How did you get it? What did
you like about it? **At the beginning of 2020, I started interning for the Pharmacotherapy Outcomes Research
Center (PORC) at the University of Utah College of Pharmacy. I applied using the College
of Science internship page. I loved interning with the PORC because it allowed me
to engage in computational mathematics, work in pharmacology, and interact with different
data science and statistical analysis techniques. The team I worked with was performing
a correlational study between medication types and bile-duct cancers. I was able to
work on the entire computing and mathematics aspect of the study and learn some cool
chemistry along the way. My favorite part of the internship was learning how to access
databases and interpret the information using data analysis.

**You finished your bachelor’s degree and are now in graduate school at the University
of California, Irvine. What are you studying? **I entered UC Irvine last fall to begin my graduate studies in mathematics. Graduate
school is a whole new challenge but it’s such an enjoyable challenge! My coursework
has really taught me to think in new ways, and I’m able to explore new areas of mathematics.
At the moment, my favorite class is abstract algebra because it’s a whole new area
of math I’ve never been exposed to. I think the online learning part of graduate school
has presented learning curves but they’re interesting learning curves.

I’d like to continue my graduate studies in mathematics and get a Ph.D., whether that’s returning to the U. or staying here at home in Southern California.

**Is there an area of research that interests you in math? What do you like about it? **I’m interested in applied and computational mathematics. More specifically, I’m interested
in applying computational mathematics to data science and machine learning. Applied
and computational mathematics explores modeling and/or simulating systems using computers
and various mathematical subjects, such as numerical methods, inverse problems, etc.
What I like about applied and computational mathematics is that it allows me to be
an all-around researcher and engage and contribute to different fields.

**Long-term career plans? **After my graduate studies are completed, I’d like to pursue a career in robotics,
focusing primarily on research and development in machine learning and artificial
intelligence.