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Max Tickner-Ernst

Majors: Mathematics and economics

Clark Days: Max was drawn to Clark because of the sense of community and academic philosophy. “My high school really emphasized collaboration and group problem-solving, and so does Clark,” says the Lunenberg, Mass., resident who attended a charter school in Devens. “It’s clearly not a competition here, like it is at other schools; it’s everyone working together to understand the material.” Max conducted research with mathematics Professor Ali Maalaoui that resulted in an honors thesis; he completed another in economics with Professor Junfu Zhang. He served as a teaching assistant in mathematics and data science courses and was involved with the Gryphon and Pleiades senior leadership and service honor society. And over two summers, Max interned as a financial analyst for UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital, which helped him sort out his interests. He discovered he’s not a fan of finance; instead, he wants to focus on something where he can apply math to solving problems, perhaps mathematical biology.

Post-Commencement Plans: Max will start a Ph.D. program in mathematics this fall at WPI, mentored by Professor Andrea Arnold.

Observation: “At Clark what helped my learning the most is that the classes are so small and the professors are so personable. I don’t think I would have succeeded as well if I didn’t have close relationships with my professors,” especially Maalaoui and Michael Satz of the Mathematics Department, who “would go that extra mile to meet with me and make sure I understood the material.”