What he does:
- Andrew is a 2nd Lieutenant for the Air Force. He does test analysis, where he researches system functionality, writes test procedures, conducts procedures, interprets gathered data, and reports test results of defense space and missile systems.
- He deals primarily with statistics and probability to answer the questions of "will this system do its intended function?" and "is this the right system to do that function?" The tests don't last very long because the systems are operational (meaning not in lab development) and have an essential role in national defense. Therefore, it's important the tests be conducted as accurately, briefly, and quickly as possible in order to gather a sample size large enough to generate valid inferences.
- Examples of the some of the testing he does are confidence intervals, distributions, likelihoods, sample sizes, number of failures permitted, (occasional) hypothesis testing, and other statistical functions/characteristics are commonly used.
- Andrew received a Bachelor of Science in Applied and Computational Mathematics (ACMS), from the University of Washington, Summer 2004, with an emphasis in engineering and physical science.
- He has been in the Air Force for 16 years and was allowed to attend UW to get his ACMS degree with the understanding he would return to the AF and use that degree on the job. It has been a win-win situation. Future positions within the AF could lead to opportunities to do optimization, modeling, simulation, failure analysis, developmental lab work and trend forecasting.
- Andrew says he didn't like math through his first few years in high school. During his senior year, he had a math teacher who took the time to answer his questions and helped him when he had difficulties in solving problems. He did very well in the class and began enjoying math.
Advice for students:
- Andrew says a knowledge and background in mathematics is very powerful and can answer almost any question, plus it's extremely handy in day-to-day tasks such as personal finances and around the house when making home improvements. In some form or fashion, math describes everything around us!