Matt Nelson ('04)

Matt Nelson is a 2004 Bachelor of Science graduate from W&L with majors in Mathematics and Computer Science. Since graduation, Matt has worked as a Computer Scientist for the Army Research Laboratory (a division of the DOD), as a Software Developer for the project management company Metier and, for the past three years, as a Software Developer and Consultant for Applied Information Sciences in the Washington, DC area. Over the years, Matt has developed numerous software applications used by the federal government as well as commercial companies.

Matt's background in mathematics enables him to work on more "intelligent" software applications. In fact, much of the software that Matt develops has, at it's core, advanced applications of mathematics, heuristics, and artificial intelligence. Currently, Matt is developing software that utilizes image/signal processing, image recognition, and biometrics. Matt considers necessary to his work a familiarity and comfort with mathematics, problem solving, and symbolic notations; specifically, he draws from his knowledge within the areas of Calculus, Linear Algebra, Geometry, and Graph Theory.

Matt enjoyed many courses within the Math Department. Matt looks back fondly on Graph Theory, Abstract Algebra, and Real Analysis. However, he believes that all of the math courses he took contributed to his knowledge-base and ability as an engineer, software developer, and problem solver. Matt claims that it was within the Mathematics Department that he learned "how to learn," and it is this ability for which he is most thankful. Matt also advises current mathematics majors to take advantage of W&L's liberal arts education and to pursue other areas of studies in addition to the mathematics curriculum. Matt finds extremely important the ability to articulate one's thoughts through speech and writing. Matt also advises mathematics students planning a mathematically oriented career to take Computer Science courses. Matt holds that strong communication skills and a grasp of computer programming enables one to put into practice the math skills they have internalized.