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Humans of the U: Storey Peacock

“I think a lot of people don’t like math because it’s seen as the hardest subject and they are told that no one is good at math. But the math people learn in high school or early on in their undergraduate degree is computational math. This ignores a crucial aspect of math. Learning how to write proofs and structure arguments logically is really valuable to grasping how math works and allows people to solve problems creatively. I think it would be really helpful for more students to be introduced to this side of math earlier in their educational experience. 

I already liked math when I came to college. As an undergraduate student, I took a few classes that helped me realize how cool it could be. My linear algebra class was especially impactful to me. My professor, Tim Tribone, really put a lot of emphasis on the proofs and learning the why of the math. Learning how things worked was really exciting to me, and I wanted to keep learning more about that. 

Dr. Tribone really cared about what he did, and it made a huge difference. He set up a research project for me and some of my peers and it was awesome to have the one-on-one mentorship he provided. He supported me through the grad school application process, which is a super stressful and uncertain time. I really appreciated having his reassurance and advice. 

Because mentorship was such a positive part of my undergraduate experience, I want more people to have that. I want math education to be a positive place where everyone can succeed, which is why I want to get a doctorate and be a professor. 

Another impactful part of my time at the U was working in the Marriott Library. I worked there for almost four years, digitizing special collections for the library website. I worked on several cool projects and the one I am most proud of is the Lundgren Papers, which are a collection of art and letters a Utah soldier sent home to his wife during World War II. I loved that this project allowed me to handle old artifacts—like money from Nazi Germany and ration tokens, things we read about in textbooks, but often don’t get to see, let alone touch. 

I loved that because the U is a big university, there is so much going on not only on campus but in the surrounding community. I loved that the U’s location allowed me to ski and spend time in the outdoors. I loved getting involved in the ski culture here. The variety of experiences I was able to bring into my undergraduate degree was very important to me. The next step in my educational journey is starting a math Ph.D. program at Colorado University at Boulder in August, and I am excited to see what that brings.”

— Storey Peacock, bachelor of science economics, mathematics minor, ’24