Ciara Patterson

Portrait of Cierra Patterson

2021 Award: Carsrud Award
Major: Applied Mathematics with a concentration in Computer Science
Minor: Computer Science, English
Hometown: Issaquah, WA
Extracurricular activities: Painting, Hiking, Reading


About the Award:

An award given to a graduating senior mathematics major. The recipient of the Carsrud award should be an outstanding mathematics student. In years when no such student exists, the award should not be conferred. Members of the department will nominate students for this award, and then the departmental awards committee will choose a winner.

More about Ciara

I grew up in Issaquah, Washington, a small city located between Seattle and the Cascade Mountains. I fell in love with Gonzaga while touring the campus and seeing how passionate and involved the students were. When I first entered college, I was completely undecided. However, I found myself really enjoying my math classes and becoming excited about how math could be applied to a variety of fields.

Future plans or career aspirations:

After graduation, I will begin working full-time as a Junior Quantitative Researcher at Talus Analytics, a research and consulting firm in Boulder, Colorado.

How has your major contributed to your professional or personal development?

As a math major, I learned how to think critically and logically about novel problems. When confronted with a new problem, I often find myself first thinking carefully about what assumptions I can reasonably make, and how I can find a solution given those assumptions. I learned this logical approach from my math classes, especially those classes that required extensive proof-writing. Additionally, as a math major, I have felt consistently supported by my professors and peers.

What has been your proudest or most significant accomplishment during your Gonzaga career?

I think that my most significant accomplishment at Gonzaga has been my senior thesis project. I investigated when COVID-19 mitigation policy is most effective, with a focus on which populations in the US are not able or willing to stay at home. This year-long research project pushed me as a student and as a thinker. It also allowed me to use many of the interdisciplinary skills that I’ve learned while studying at Gonzaga.