At a Glance

Year: ’23, '24
Major: Mathematics
Activities: Honors College, Teaching Assistant, Tutor

Mathematics BS

As a mathematics major, you will gain the tools for explanation and analysis in the physical world, and in engineering, business and the social sciences.

For Rebecca Mendum ’23, ’24, attending UMass Lowell was a “no-brainer.”

The double River Hawk enjoyed the proximity to her home in Framingham, Massachusetts, the strong mathematics program and the Merrimack River that runs through campus. Ultimately, the financial aid package sealed the deal for her.

“I got the Chancellor’s Scholarship, and I knew right then that I was going to UMass Lowell,” she says.

The Chancellor’s Scholarship is awarded to in-state residents who are among the most academically qualified admitted students. Recipients receive an annual award of full tuition and mandatory fees, which allowed Mendum to obtain her bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 2023 with no college debt.

Through the Bachelor’s-to-Master’s program, Mendum spent the next year working toward a master’s degree in mathematics with an applied and computational mathematics option. She received a full-time teaching assistantship, which covered tuition and fees.

“It’s exciting that I’ve gotten this far without paying for my education,” she says.

Mendum came to UMass Lowell unsure of where a mathematics degree would take her.

“I just know that I love math, and that’s why I chose to major in it,” says Mendum, who was also in the Honors College. “You have to do what makes you happy. Life is too short.”

While taking advanced math courses, Mendum branched out and registered for biology classes, where she discovered her passion for biostatistics.

“I found that I can use the math skills that I’m really good at to help people,” says Mendum, who aspires to work in a biostatistics unit within a public health department or hospital. 

Before entering the workforce, Mendum is continuing her education at Harvard University in its biostatistics master’s program. Because Mendum is joining the program with a master’s degree in mathematics from UMass Lowell, it will only take her one year to complete a master’s degree in biostatistics at Harvard instead of the traditional two years.

“It’s wonderful,” she says. “I only have to pay one year of Harvard tuition instead of two.”

Mendum, who also was accepted to master’s programs at Boston University and Tufts University, turned to the UML mathematics department when deciding where to attend. She says mathematics professors Jong Soo Lee, Daniel Klain and Aida Kadic-Galeb were instrumental in her decision.

“They were so proud of me,” she says. “It made me so happy.”

Mendum says the relationships she built with people on campus, from her professors to her peers, contributed to her success. She conducted research with Lee and Klain, took part in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, served as a math tutor and regularly attended Zumba classes at the Campus Recreation Center.

“What’s really special about UMass Lowell is that it’s big enough so there are lots of opportunities, but it’s small enough that you know people personally,” she says. “I really enjoy the community that’s here.”

Why UML?

Rebecca Mendum.

“What’s really special about UMass Lowell is that it’s big enough so there are lots of opportunities, but it’s small enough that you know people personally.”