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Emma C

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill)


Math, Data science, Math modeling, Statistics, Theoretical mathematics, Computer science


I am currently a first year Ph.D. student at UNC - Chapel Hill, studying applied mathematics. My undergraduate degree was in applied math and computer science from Texas A&M University. I have a variety of research interests including numerical linear algebra and optimization, but my main goal is to use math to highlight and solve real world problems. One of my favorite classes at A&M was about mathematical modeling of the ocean climate because in the class, we were able to synthesize all kinds of data and see how climate change indicators relate to ocean patterns. My upcoming research project deals with modeling shockwaves in brain tissue during traumatic brain injury. Outside of research, I love all things crafting, and I try to make time to get outside every day. I'm currently working on learning to crochet, which is a great hobby if you want something to do while on a Netflix binge.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Hidden in plain sight: Image Encryption and Matrix Factorization

In this project, the student will learn matrix theory and how to manipulate matrices using Octave, a free software package very similar to Matlab (fun fact -- Matlab is short for Matrix Laboratory!). We will use one of the most important matrix factorizations (the singular value decomposition, or SVD) to compress, alter, and even encrypt images. No coding experience is necessary, but prior knowledge of Matlab will allow us to explore the project even further.

Coding skills

python, Matlab, Java, C++

Languages I know


Teaching experience

I have been tutoring students in math and Spanish language classes since high school. During my time at Texas A&M University, I led recitations for Calculus I and help sessions for an introductory proofs course. I was also part of a mentorship organization focused on middle school students throughout my undergraduate career. Currently, I am a recitation instructor for Calculus II at UNC - Chapel Hill.


Work experience

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (2020 - Current)
Recitation Instructor
Intel Inc. (2019 - 2019)
Software Engineering Intern
Texas A&M University (2018 - 2019)
Recitation Instructor


Texas A&M University
BS Bachelor of Science (2019)
Applied Maths - Computer Science
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill)
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Applied mathematics

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