Loyola University Chicago

Center for Experiential Learning


Thomas Atchley

Thomas Atchley
Math & Computer Scienceā€Œ

Hello! My name is Thomas Atchley, and I am a Senior studying Mathematics & Computer Science (the single major, not both of them). This summer I conducted research mathematical research with statistics professor Dr. Gregory Matthews. Our goal was to investigate how previous researchers have estimated missing data using existing 2-dimensional morphometric data (landmarks), and then begin to construct a model to reconstruct this data in a simulation study.

In perhaps more ways than my coursework has, this research has made me feel like a true "academic". For the first time, I have been studying a truly novel and interesting problem which people do not know the answer to. Though this has not changed my determination to go to grad school eventually, this experience was helpful in that it allowed me to experience what it is like to be a researcher. For anyone considering grad school, I think that this is a necessary experience because doing research and completing coursework are two different beasts; doing well in one does not mean you would do well in the other. I won't say this experience was wholly positive, because of course research does naturally induce some frustration or fatigue, but I recommend it nonetheless because these negatives aspects are constructive and unpleasant without a purpose.