Mother of two earns math degree and President’s Medal

When Andreea Rada learned she had won the President’s Medal, she wasn’t surprised.

“I think it’s great, but I worked hard for it,” says the 30-year-old native of Romania. “I have two kids and I came from another country. And I was studying with 17- and 18-year-olds when I was 28. But I adapted.”

What did surprise Rada, who is graduating with a Bachelor of Mathematics degree is the difference between the mathematics program at Carleton and the one in her homeland.

“Science is very common in Eastern European countries,” Rada explains, “so I earned my first degree in mathematics in Romania. But there, it is purely theoretical, a high-level math, which doesn’t help you as an undergraduate student to get anywhere. Your brain is just full of all sorts of weird formulas. Here, when you graduate, you know how to apply it.”

As an immigrant who does not have a strong command of the English language, Rada decided to study statistics at Carleton.

“Math is a universal language,” she says. “And Carleton has a strong program in statistics, so I started here in 2005.”

Now, Rada works as a demographic officer with the Canada Border Services Agency and plans to pursue an honours degree in statistics.

“This is my first job ever. I got the job because I have this degree, so it was a very smart idea. I am doing stats, surveys, demographics and a lot of things that have to do with math. And I absolutely love it.”

As a mathematician, Rada expected to work with mathematicians in a purely science environment. Instead, she is working in a human resources environment, analyzing such information as how many people will be retiring.

“It is very interesting how this science is appreciated in a multicultural, social sciences environment. And this is an opportunity for me to learn communication skills.”

This entry was written by Susan Hickman and posted in the issue. Tags applied to this article are: , , . Leave a comment, bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

Susan Hickman

By Susan Hickman

For nearly four decades, journalist Susan Hickman has written about every imaginable subject for sundry newspapers and magazines in Canada and abroad, as well as for CBC TV and CBC Radio. She has also managed various publications, including academic newspapers and technology magazines, and was recently commissioned to write a guide for foreign missions serving in Canada. Currently, she is working on a couple of personal memoirs.

Be a part of the Carleton Now community

Carleton Now strives to be an inclusive, relevant and informative publication focused on building and fostering an engaged campus community. You can be a part of our community by: sharing or voting for this article (below), joining in the conversation, or by sending a submission/letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.

Current issue