At a Glance

Year: ’24
Major(s): Mathematics
Activities: UTeach, Honors College Fellow, Tutor, Learning Assistant
Why UML? “It’s very affordable, and I knew the school has a lot of cultural diversity.”

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.

On campus, Tanya Kieu is an honors mathematics major. Off campus, she’s known as Miss Tanya.

Through courses at UMass Lowell, Kieu has gained teaching experience at Greater Lawrence Technical School in Andover, Massachusetts.

She entered college with an interest in math and an uncertainty about where that major would take her. That’s when a friend introduced her to UTeach, an undergraduate teacher preparation program for STEM majors. Kieu enrolled in the UTeach course Exploring Teaching and Learning in STEM during the spring semester of her sophomore year and soon knew she found her calling.

“I really liked the class,” the Woburn, Massachusetts, resident says. “From there, I wanted to be a math teacher.”

Kieu added UTeach as a minor and took courses that had her teaching high school classes at Greater Lawrence Tech. One such course was Project-Based Instruction. She teamed up with Greater Lawrence Tech math teacher and UML alum Ariel Grill ’19 to teach first-year high school students about systems of equations and statistics through a project that involved building a business. Kieu then brought the students to UMass Lowell, where Manning School of Business professors provided the students with feedback on their projects.

“I was impressed with the students’ work,” Kieu says. “It was really nice to get this experience and interact with students in a classroom.”

For UML’s 2023 Student Research & Community Engagement Symposium, Kieu put together a presentation on her Greater Lawrence Tech project-based unit and was named an undergraduate winner for the Kennedy College of Sciences.

“I didn’t expect to win. There were so many people competing in the symposium,” she says. “I felt really grateful.”

Kieu helps other college students better understand math through her roles as a Department of Mathematics and Statistics learning assistant and a Centers for Learning, Advising and Student Success tutor. She is also conducting research with Mathematics and Statistics Assoc. Prof. Min Hyung Cho as an Honors College Fellow.

“This research experience is definitely strengthening my math background,” she says. “I’ve been so focused on teaching others math that I already know, so this is a good challenge for me.”

Kieu says she is thankful for the many opportunities available at UMass Lowell, a university she chose for its affordable tuition and culturally diverse community.

“Since I’m a minority, it’s good to see professors and other students that look like me and people who have similar interests as me,” says Kieu, who identifies as Asian American. 

Kieu has been accepted to UML’s bachelor’s-to-master’s program, which offers a seamless transition between undergraduate and graduate programs and gives students the chance to complete both degrees in as little as five years. Her goal is to get a master’s degree in mathematics with a mathematics for teachers option before becoming a full-time teacher.

“Having a master’s degree is really good for teaching,” she says. “I’m looking forward to continuing my education at UMass Lowell.”

How has UML set you up for success?

Tanya Kieu headshot
“Through UTeach and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, I’ve had a lot of opportunities for jobs and research.”