Inspired by Guidance and Mentorship from Professors

Yanni Lai at the seashore

Yanni Lai ’14

Ph.D. candidate, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Mathematics

Academic focus: math and psychology double major

Internship: intern, Global Corporate Banking, Citi Bank

I studied math and psychology in my undergraduate career, and am currently pursuing a doctoral program in math. I have really appreciated my experience with psychology at Mount Holyoke, especially the opportunities for research projects under the supervision of professors, which familiarized me with the procedures of conducting scientific research.

For example, I learned methods to design a study appropriately, to collect and select data, and to analyze and report results. Although my research in graduate school lies in a different field, I benefited a lot from my study of psychology and training in these skills.

At four years since graduation, I still remember the classes I took in the psychology department. In my senior year. I registered in a lab class of speech processing, taught by Mara Breen. At the end of the semester, when I found a problem with the data for my final paper, she helped me re-invite the participants for the experiment in order to correct it in a very short period of time.

I feel very thankful for her consideration of students’ needs. I found the psychology professors easily reachable and always ready to help students. Their valuable guidance continues to inspire me after graduation.