Jonathan Adler, BS/MS
Degrees earned at WPI:
BS, Mathematical Science
MS, Applied Mathematics
What he does:
At Boeing, Jonathan works on a team that publishes a 20-year forecast of the airline industry. Previously, he worked at Vistaprint in Lexington, MA, where his job involved forecasting how many orders the company would receive each day over the next quarter. His work includes a large amount of statistics and data mining. In 2011, Jonathan began a PhD program at Arizona State University in industrial engineering. He has enjoyed his time in industry, but he would like to make his career more research-focused. He chose industrial engineering because “the field takes mathematical concepts and applies them to real world industrial problems.”
Math on the job:
“As an analyst, I spend most of my time applying what I learned in school to real data,” he says. The skills of logic and reasoning come in handy, because instead of being given a precise problem with specific constraints, he is usually given a very broad concept with which to work.
A typical task he might encounter would be: make an algorithm to determine whether daily sales are abnormally low. “Suddenly your neat little problem from school becomes a big complicated beast that can be attacked from many angles. It’s a different kind of fun,” he says.
From Barrington, RI, Jonathan came to WPI as an Electrical and Computer Engineering major, only to find he didn’t quite have a knack for it. Simultaneously, he found that he enjoyed his Calculus 3 class, and so he switched majors. “When I was a student, I really enjoyed trying to solve problems. It was a lot of fun because everything felt like a puzzle,” he says.
For his Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP), he used graph theory to analyze Facebook data from WPI students. He describes it as a “fun mix of data mining, math analysis, and ensuring we had the proper permissions.” In his spare time, he served as the President of Science Fiction Society.
Jonathan received his BS in Mathematical Sciences in 2007, and his MS in Applied Mathematics in 2009.