Student Highlights

Meet some Wheaton College students in the Math & Computer Science department.


Kelsey Lafferty

Kelsey is a senior majoring in Mathematics.

Kelsey Lafferty photo

 Where did you grow up?

I am from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.  It's a small town near Philadelphia.






 Tell us about your family.

Kelsey Lafferty with family

My dad is a pastor, and my mom is a preschool director for our church.  I have a sister Krista, who is a freshman at Northwestern University, and a brother Ryan, who is in high school.

What drew you to study mathematics? What do you like about studying math at Wheaton?

I really enjoy mathematics. It's fun, interesting, and challenging. At Wheaton, one of the best parts about studying math is being part of the math department. I like getting to know the other students and the camaraderie that is built through studying together. The professors are great, and they genuinely care for us. The department feels like another home.

What kind of activities do you enjoy doing outside of math?

Kelsey Laferty reading

I enjoy spending time with friends, reading, running, and racing my family at sudoku puzzles. I like all sports and any activity that gets me moving, especially if it's outside. I am also involved in the DSG program at Wheaton.



What are your career goals? How are you going to use your math degree?

I am waiting to hear back from graduate schools. I hope to obtain a PhD and become a professor.

Could you share a few words about any math-related experiences you participated in?

I participated in an REU in knot theory at California State University, San Bernardino. It was a great way to learn and meet math students from other schools. I also enjoy being a TA in the math department.




Tim Macdonald

Tim Macdonald is a senior majoring in Computer Science.


Where did you grow up? 

Half in Honduras, half in Pittsburgh.

Tell us about your family.

My parents used to be missionaries. Now my dad is a professor of missions and evangelism at an Anglican seminary and my mom is a teacher. My brother Alec (28) just finished nine years in the Army as a sniper, and my sister Parry (25, Wheaton '10) is married and getting her doctorate in honeybee behavior at the University of California Riverside.

What drew you to study computer science? What do you like about studying computer science at Wheaton?

I really enjoy the mix of creativity and logic involved in programming and the thrill of figuring out a tricky algorithm or building a useful program.  At Wheaton, I'm a huge fan of the sense of community I have with both other students and professors.

What kind of activities do you enjoy doing outside of computer science?


Music! Scottish fiddling, harpsichord playing (I just put a full-size harpsichord in my dorm room!), composition, Scottish country dancing...Also sailing, riflery, and hiking, but not nearly as intensely.

What are your career goals?

I just accepted a job at Groupon, but in the future I'd like to return to programming at a tech startup.

Could you share a few words about any CS related experiences you participated in?


I've participated in both ACM and ACCA competitions, which were a lot of fun. I've also spent a lot of time working/interning at several different companies, all of which were hugely educational. It's a programmer-friendly job market right now.








Josh Green

Josh Green is a senior majoring in Applied Mathematics. 


Tell us about your family.

I grew up in the Midwest and was raised in a single-parent Christian household where my mother homeschooled me, my older sister and younger brother.


My mother raised me to love God and love people, and did all that she could to help me pursue my inquisitiveness for the world of mathematics.

What drew you to study mathematics?  What do you like about studying math at Wheaton?

I am drawn to the field of mathematics because of my passion and love for studying the order that God used when He created the universe. I have greatly enjoyed math since I was a child; math is one of the very few completely objective courses of study and I view it as a lifelong way of thinking. I love Wheaton’s Mathematics Department because the professors are extremely approachable and willing to work with you to truly learn this subject.

What kind of activities do you enjoy doing outside of math?

JoshGreenRowingI have been a member of the Wheaton Crew Team since my Freshman year – I am now in the middle of my 7th season rowing and looking forward to racing at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston for my third time. Gliding along the cold river at 5 in the morning and pushing your body to its extreme limits is an excellent way to counterbalance the rigors of academic life!

Some semesters I participate in Intermural sports (dodge ball & volleyball). I have also enjoyed working at the college post office (“CPO”) since Freshman year. Camp counseling with high school kids at Honey Rock is one of my favorite memories of my time spent in college.

What are your career goals?  How are you going to use your math degree?

One of the reasons I chose to major in mathematics is that it is so orderly and objective, and many employers are looking for analytical thinkers and problem solvers.  I do not desire to teach at this point but I feel that studying math is building in me the traits and thinking patterns that will serve me well in my post-grad plans of applying to graduate programs in engineering. I feel well prepared with the skills gained at Wheaton to begin pursing my desired career path of engineering.

Could you share a few words about any math-related experiences you participated in?

This past summer (2013) I attended Boston University’s SIBS program (Studies In Biostatistics) where I gained much knowledge and experience regarding the ties between math and the medical and public heath fields. While I was there, I worked with raw data from the Framingham Heart Studies using statistical & genetic theories to make inferences about the health of the U.S. population. I also met many great professors and explored graduate school options.

I spent the summer of 2012 as an intern on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade working with an options trader. During my freshman year at Wheaton I served as a T.A. in Applied Calculus under Dr. Perciante.

Anything else you would like to add?

One of my great joys are the friendships I have been blessed with during my time here at Wheaton.  Now in my senior year, I feel so blessed to be a part of this community and look forward to going forth from this school after graduation to continue to promote Christ & His kingdom wherever He places me to serve in the business world.


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