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Jeremy Ward '10

Math: The Tie that Binds


How do you fit all that Jeremy Ward, ’10, has done into a few short paragraphs? You can start by searching for the one common thread: math.

Ward enrolled at Simpson to play soccer and study math and physics after graduating from Norwalk High School. While he believes everything learned in classes is crucial to success, it’s what happens outside the classroom that matters most.

“The knowledge learned in a classroom is more productive when applied outside the classroom and has a stronger impact on the student,” he said.

“During my time, I participated in mathematics research during the summer months of my sophomore year, I helped to establish new lab facilities following my junior year, and I made sure to spend as much time in the lab that I could so that I had a better concept of the type of work I enjoyed.”

That mentality has carried Ward through graduate school at Wake Forest University, a Congressional Science and Technology fellowship on Capitol Hill and his current career as a research scientist in the Air Force Research Lab outside Dayton, Ohio. There he works on developing solutions to challenges faced by the U.S. Air Force using flexible, conformal (material that takes on the shape of the object it surrounds) or stretchable electronic materials.

“Applications for this work range from human performance monitoring (concussion detection, biomarker tracking, etc.) to adaptable and dynamic antennas,” he said. “My research thus far as allowed me to learn and explore many tools within additive manufacturing and electronics packaging.”

Before that, Ward’s time in U.S. Senator Richard Durbin’s office opened his eyes to what a career in math can mean while creating valuable connections with colleagues in science-related departments and agencies in the federal government.

“During my time on Capitol Hill, I managed a diverse portfolio of issues in science and technology, higher education, and public health,” he said. “This experience helped make me aware of the wide array of opportunities available to scientists and mathematicians beyond the academic or research environment.”

All of it leads back to his liberal arts education at Simpson College.