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Department of Mathematics
University of Mississippi

Graduate Student, University of AlabamaSkylyn Irby photo

Hometown: Batesville, MS
BS in Mathematics, minor in Psychology (2019)


“In college I considered majors related to mathematics, but soon realized that math would be the only enjoyable part for me.  I have always heard the saying: ‘Do you something you love, and it will all work out.’  That’s exactly what I did—I followed my heart.”

Irby participated in STEM programs such as the Louis Stokes Mississippi Alliance for Minority Participation and IMAGE, Increasing Minority Access to Graduate Education Program.  Her many research experiences included a study abroad program in Belize where she presented recommendations on improving a water system to public officials.

She attended the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics in her sophomore year and returned the next year to present her own research.  Irby completed “On the Generalization of Lucas Numbers” with the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, and will continue that research for her honors thesis.  A special topics course provided the opportunity to learn LaTex and SQL in order to conduct research for the School of Business Administration.  She participated in a data science project during a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in Berkley, Ca.  The UM Hall of Fame inductee also served as a mentor and leader in organizations, such as the Theta Psi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Black Student Union, and the Bridge STEM program to help enhance the college experience for herself and her peers.

Irby is earning a PhD in mathematics at the University of Alabama. She is passionate about diversifying STEM fields and making them more accessible to underrepresented students. Her research interests include data science and math education. She currently serves as the African American Graduate Student Association (AAGSA) Vice President and UA Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) Social Events Chair.