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Department of Mathematics
University of Mississippi

Mathematics Student Ambassadors

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Kaylee Sims

Kaylee Sims

An honors student, Kaylee is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. She is a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority, a tutor for the Mississippi College Access Project, and a former Biology Teaching Assistant and Peer Mentor. She is currently writing an undergraduate thesis under the direction of Dr. Samuel Lisi, and plans to pursue a career as an actuary.

Why did you choose to attend UM?
I chose to attend the University of Mississippi because of my love of the people in the state of Mississippi. I knew that UM would provide an academically rigorous environment as well as a diverse community that would challenge and expand my worldview. Between smiling faces and encouraging professors and admissions counselors, UM simply felt like home during my college search.

When and why did you choose your major(s)/minors?
I enrolled in Calculus I and II as a requirement for another degree, but soon realized how much I enjoyed those classes and wanted to continue the sequence. After taking my first mathematics theory and logic course (Math 305 with Dr. Sheppardson!), I was absolutely sold. I love that a degree in mathematics opens so many doors professionally and helps me develop my critical thinking skills.

What are your career goals?
I am pursuing a career in actuarial science. I am fascinated by the intersection between business, mathematics, and technology, and I love that my chosen field encourages lifelong learning and self-improvement. I tried on a lot of different “hats” while choosing a career path, but I ultimately was drawn to the problem-solving nature of a career as an actuary.

Is there a professor who has been particularly helpful to you?
Dr. Stephan Roberts was my first calculus professor at UM. Even through Zoom lectures, his passion and excitement was contagious. He helped me understand not only how to solve difficult problems but why they mattered. Dr. Samuel Lisi, my undergraduate thesis advisor, introduced me to the world of higher mathematics, which has shaped my entire worldview significantly. Dr. Lisi never fails to indulge my academic curiosity, and I have learned so much from his creativity and expertise. Perhaps the greatest lesson he has taught me is the value of grappling with problems that seem to have no solution.

What has been a particularly meaningful way you have engaged in a community – either on or off-campus?
I absolutely love participating in The Big Event. It happens every year at Ole Miss in the spring semester and is the largest day of community service in the state of Mississippi! I love seeing students that are passionate about helping the Oxford, Lafayette, and University community come together, meet their peers, and get their hands dirty.

What are you binge watching/reading/listening to?
I just finished reading Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I would highly recommend it if you are into mind bending science fiction.

What is your favorite place to eat in Oxford?
My favorite food is definitely barbecue. In Oxford I highly recommend Lamar Yard and Handy Andy’s!