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Joy Roy

“Visit the campus and look around! Take advantage of talking to current students. UMBC is a nice combination of reputable and with kind faculty who really want you to do well.”

 

Major: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
Major: Mathematics
Minor: Computer Science

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Campus Activities:
Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key Honours Society, Student Judicial Board Justice, Teaching Assistant Biology Department, UMBC Research Assistant Lobo Lab, ORISE Research Fellow FDA

Why did you chose UMBC?
I love how UMBC is a small school in a neighborhood area. I like the friendly welcoming environment that encourages you to not only study peacefully but relax when you can. With smaller schools come smaller classes where professors are less flustered and more capable of giving attention to individual students needs. Classes are also close by so running to class is never an issue. The environment around a school is just as important as the education itself, and for me, the comfort I felt when I visited made me feel at home.

What would you say to a prospective student?
Visit the campus and look around! Take advantage of talking to current students. Going to schools with amazing stats and who are highly reputable is nice, but not when the faculty don’t care about you or when the environment is cut throat. UMBC is a nice combination of reputable and with kind faculty who really want you to do well.

What has been your favorite class at UMBC?
MATH 225 Differential Equations is definitely one of the most fun and interesting classes I’ve taken. In elementary school to college, math students love saying “when am I ever going to use this?” and in differential equations you realize, “oh, I use it here.” Diff eq has so many applications in biology, engineering, and physics, and in that class I not only got a understanding on how the math works, but on the different uses it has in life.

What are you researching? What faculty member are you working with? Have you participated in URCAD (Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day)?
I work with Dr. Daniel Lobo in the biology department, studying planarian worms and how they work. They’re really cool worms that will regrow perfectly when you cut them. Imagine this, you cut a worm’s head off its body, and in a few days not only will the body regrow its missing head, but the missing head will regrow a missing body! I’m developing a database that can mathematically store information about the worms and their gene expression patterns so that one day we can use an evolutionary algorithm to reverse engineer the worm and figure out where each of their genes are expressed and how they work. I’ve participated in URCAD a few times, its cool to see how much research is getting done on campus every year.

What do you hope to achieve after you complete your degree at UMBC?
I plan to pursue a PhD in Computational Medicine. I’m interested in studying medicine with a systems approach and helping to advance personalized medicine with the help of math and machines.

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