Eleanor Waiss (she/her)
Mathematics and Actuarial Science double major, Computer Science  minor
Sturtevant, Wisconsin

What’s the best part about being a Math major at Butler?
The best part about being a Math major is the community among peers and professors. Even though mathematics at the university level can be challenging for many, everyone is willing to work together and help each other along the way. I wouldn’t be where I am today without faculty members and other students helping and inspiring me.

What unique experiences has Butler offered you as a Math student?
Recently, I got the opportunity to travel to San Francisco to present my research at the Joint Mathematics Meetings. The experience was fully funded by external and internal grants, and I got to go with other students and faculty who were also presenting at the conference. 

This experience was really insightful regarding my future career as a mathematician. I also had the opportunity to network with other mathematicians with a variety of backgrounds. 

Which faculty member has inspired you the most?
Professor Leatherman is my academic advisor, and I was also in his Calculus II course during my first semester at Butler.

My math skills were not where I would have liked them to be at the start of college, and if it wasn’t for Professor Leatherman, I likely would have changed majors. Professor Leatherman worked with me, challenged me to become a better mathematician, and inspired me to persevere through these challenges.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at Butler?
Community has easily been my favorite thing about Butler. Shortly after classes started my first year, I had already found a strong friend group, felt comfortable approaching professors for help, and had bonded with my peers in class. 

After I came out as trans during my first year, everyone at Butler has been super welcoming and accepting. It’s the people and the community that has helped me feel comfortable in my own skin and helped me thrive socially, academically, and personally.

What is your favorite spot on campus?
My favorite spot on campus is probably the Math Tutoring Lab, although the libraries are a close second. The Math Tutoring Lab is more than just what the name implies—it’s a multi-use space for the entire math department. You can often find me there studying for exams, working with my friends and classmates on homework sets, building a puzzle, and yes, tutoring some introductory math students, too. Irwin Library’s private study rooms are always nice for a semi-quiet area, and the Science Library is the only designated quiet area on campus.

What’s your favorite student activity?
Attending basketball games at Hinkle Fieldhouse! Several of my friends are in the band, and I’ve tutored a few student-athletes on both the women’s and men’s teams. I go to as many games as my schedule allows, and it never disappoints. It’s fun to cheer on the Bulldogs in the Dawg Pound! 

What advice would you give to someone considering Butler? 
I would recommend visiting Butler’s campus and coming to one of the Open Houses offered by the Office of Admission. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk with current students and hear their honest perspectives on academics and student life. 

Making connections with older students can also set you up for success as a student. You’ll be able to lean on those connections in order to get feedback regarding class schedules, extra help on class topics, and much more!

What are your plans upon graduation?
I will attend graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics. My hope is to become a professor in order to both research and teach.