An Unconventional Path by Sarah Fleming ’17
For most of her life, Pam Harris had no plans to become a mathematician. Brought to the United States from Mexico at the age of eight, she had no prospects of attending university after graduating high school because of her immigration status. As she still wanted to continue her education, Pam began taking classes at Milwaukee Area Technical College, a community college near her home. She originally set out thinking she would become an art teacher because she had had several influential art teachers throughout her education. To complete her degree, though, she needed to take a math class, so she enrolled in college algebra. To her surprise, she enjoyed it so much that she decided to use her remaining elective credits to take trigonometry and three courses in calculus. She soon graduated from community college with associate degrees in art and science, and she longed for an opportunity to take more math courses.