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Sue Ann Campbell

“Mathematics, to me is . . .Solving problems, looking for patterns, making connections between different concepts or ideas.”
Sue Ann's Biography

Sue Ann received her Bachelor of Mathematics in Applied Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and her PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Cornell University. After holding positions as a postdoctoral researcher at Universite de Montreal and as an Assistant Professor at Concordia University, she returned to the University of Waterloo as an Assistant Professor in 1991. She is currently Professor and Chair of the Applied Mathematics Department at Waterloo.

Computer programming/logical thinking. Everything I do in my research from formulating a problem to writing out the solution, requires me to think logically. Almost everything I analyze with a pencil and paper gets backed up with some numerical work on the computer.

I love attending conferences in interesting places and getting together with people from all over the world to talk about mathematics. I also like working with graduate students and seeing them develop into independent researchers.

To relax, I spend time with my family, work in my garden and read. I am especially fond of murder mysteries and crime fiction. I also like to read whatever books my daughters are currently reading.

My postdoctoral supervisor was a tremendous supporter and source of encouragement both during my postdoc and when I was starting my first tenure track position. He encouraged me to get involved with the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society, which enabled me to meet new collaborators and get to know a lot of the Applied Math Community in Canada.

When I graduated from highschool, no – I was planning to be a Wildlife Biologist! By the time I graduated from my undergraduate degree, I was pretty sure I wanted to be a University Professor. I never imagined I would be doing the research. I am now or that I would become chair of my department.

If you want to be an applied mathematician, learn as much as you can of the language and culture of the application area you want to work in. Make connections with people who work in the application area. Read journals from that area. This will help you find interesting and challenging problems to work on. Go to conferences in Canada and abroad. It is very important when you are applying for funding for people to know who you are and what you do.

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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