Brittany Froese Hamfeldt, MSc (’09), PhD (’12)

Supportive faculty and the graduate student community helped Hamfeldt solve more than just math problems.

Brittany Hamfeldt completed both her MSc and PhD in Applied Mathematics at SFU. Her studies focused on problems relating to numerical analysis and partial differential equations. Where these theories overlap, she applied them to real-world problems. “I definitely got the foundation I needed to start studying real applications, working with scientists in other areas, and helping to bring mathematical tools to other fields,” she says.

Hamfeldt was awarded an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship, which gave her the freedom to continue training with world-renowned applied mathematicians at the University of Texas at Austin.

For Hamfeldt, it was the people that made the difference in her time at SFU. “The graduate students get along and really support each other. It was great knowing that you could knock on anyone’s door and they would be happy to give you advice and feedback,” says Hamfeldt. “The faculty are great—not just at teaching people to solve math problems, but helping people to acquire job skills, to find jobs, and to learn how to communicate with others—which is so important.”

She’s currently an Associate Professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology, teaching undergraduate and graduate classes, and supervising students. Hamfeldt also continues to work on her own research, involving interdisciplinary work with people in optical science and geophysics. “As I begin my own career as a professor, I continue to draw upon my experiences at SFU in the hopes that my students can receive a similar quality of education.”