Phuong Ho (Class of 2021)

photo of Phuong Ho

  • junior major in Mathematics and Statistics, with an Analytics co-major
  • minor in Computer Science
  • from Hanoi, Vietnam
  • studied abroad at University of Glasgow (Spring 2019); 2019 Undergraduate Summer Scholar
  • plans to conduct research as a data analyst
  • participant, MPACT Leadership Retreat and International Peer Orientation Leaders; secretary, Vietnamese Student Association; tutor, Rinella Learning Center
"Talking to your professors, not only about your work in class but also about your career goals, is also a great idea. Get to know them and their research. Being able to work with different people makes me feel like I'm not focusing only on my academics, but I'm also building my network as well."

Why Miami?

"I chose Miami because it is really good for my major in mathematics and statistics and I knew the overall education is awesome. I first learned of the school when my sister applied but did not get accepted. Living in Vietnam, I could not visit the campus easily for a tour, but I could see from the Miami website that the campus was really beautiful. Miami's national rankings are very good, especially in undergraduate education, and that's why I applied."

Best Miami Experiences

Phuong Ho and a fellow member of the iPOL team

"My first year as an international student at Miami was a little bit hard at first. It was my very first time coming to a new country where people were speaking a different language from mine. In fact, it was a little bit scary, but I got used to it soon after that. I had a very good orientation, and then I met my first roommate, who is American. She has actually helped me a lot. We have talked about all kinds of different things in our conversations!

"I wasn't actually sure what I should take for my first semester when I came in. I always loved math, so I initially registered for a lot of math classes, but along the way I began taking classes along the statistics path. I've become more interested in data analytics and statistics, and I really love dealing with data to generate analyses for different companies.

"During spring 2019, I studied at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and prepared for doing research as an Undergraduate Summer Scholar (USS) with one of my math professors, Jason Gaddis. Dr. Gaddis is the best teacher that I have ever had; he is so helpful and thoughtful. I enjoyed taking his classes and working with him this past summer. He has made me feel really welcome at Miami, and I know Miami was the right choice.

"I'm involved in a number of really active and diverse clubs and programs here at Miami. I've tried archery, participating in the 2-day MPACT Leadership Retreat, being an International Peer Orientation Leader (iPOL), and a lot more. I feel so happy to be able to help my peers with academic and other extracurricular activities. Miami's campus is amazing, especially during the fall, and everyone always tries to help me as best they can!"

Miami and the Liberal Arts

"In statistics, we do a lot of reading to synthesize the information, and I've done research with Dr. Gaddis to see what math researchers do. I love it! I'm really interested in math combined with technology, which is something that I would like to do in my future career. The professors teaching my math, statistics, and computer science classes are really helpful. I often go to their office hours and ask them questions about what they think I should be taking that would be helpful for my major.

"In addition to my math and statistics classes, I also have taken some courses in computer science classes to help me dip into further knowledge. Our lab sessions, which show how coding works, help me a lot."

Expanding Academic and Cultural Experiences in Scotland

Phuong Ho in Scotland

"Last spring, in preparation for my USS research project about noncommutative algebra with Dr. Gaddis, I spent a lot of my time at the University of Glasgow reading documents he sent me. Dr. Gaddis kept in touch with me that semester to help me gain knowledge for my research. This helped me a lot, even though I hadn't taken abstract algebra before studying abroad. However, it was really the hands-on experience I had in the summer that made the difference.

"In Scotland it was great to visit a new country and get to know many other people. I enjoyed the University of Glasgow campus, the education, and learning about the culture. My classes were in statistics and math, as well as one on art history, which was probably my favorite. The subject was really new to me, but it fit so well with Glasgow's historical beauty.

"Before I went to Glasgow, I was not the type of person to go out and say 'hi' first to people I don't know — it was always a little scary. But coming back to Miami afterwards, I feel I've become more thoughtful and open-minded. I'm not really scared of talking to new people, and in fact, I feel more interested to know other people and hearing their different opinions on topics.

"The Glasgow trip has also influenced my work in my classes. I feel better about using various kinds of software and writing papers. I've had great experiences that will help me apply for graduate school."

Advice to Students

"My advice is to get out of your comfort zone, which is what I had to do myself as a Miami student from Vietnam. It's a little scary at first. One of my favorite experiences has been helping new international students, since many of them do feel nervous when they first arrive here. I tell them that everything will be okay!

"Everything is so different, but when you meet more people you can have more fun. It's important to join other activities. When I was a freshman, I would often just stay home, but since sophomore year I've made so many new friends.

"Talking to your professors, not only about your work in class but also about your career goals, is also a great idea. Get to know them and their research. Being able to work with different people makes me feel like I'm not focusing only on my academics, but I'm also building my network as well."

[November 2019]