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Yardas Family earns math degree together

Theresa, Jake and Jeremy Yardas | 2017 Alumni, B.S. Actuarial Science | Department of Mathematical Sciences To say that Theresa Yardas and her sons Jake and Jeremy love math is an understatement.

The passion to excel in a challenging program turned this mother and her two children into their own small study group.  A family connection and an opportunity to job shadow an actuary led all three to enroll in Mathematics with a concentration in Actuarial Science at IUPUI after starting at Ivy Tech Community College.  They were all looking for an academic program that would challenge them in a subject they enjoyed.

Why did all three of you decide to enroll in the same program, Mathematics with a Concentration in Actuarial Science?

We all decided to enroll in Mathematics/Actuarial Science track to save money and create our own actuarial exam study group.  The boys also did a job shadow in 5th grade and my cousin's wife is an actuary.  We all really like to be challenged in mathematics and we felt that this was a good fit for us.  We also wanted to help people in our work so we felt that the profession was well suited for this.  Unlike some other students we met, it was more about the mathematics for us, than the promise of a high salary.

What was it like working on projects together?

While we did our best to support each other, we were also extremely competitive with each other.  It was all about who got the best score or grade in our family.  This pushed us more to be successful.

What would you tell a prospective student about IUPUI?

I would tell any prospective student that IUPUI has so much to offer students over and above the first rate education at a reasonable price.  We were extremely involved on campus even though we were commuters.  There is so much support for students.  The tutoring programs, student support services, student involvement, student employment services, PREPS, UITS, disability services, health services are just some of the available services.  There is an office at IUPUI for just about anything a student could need.

Tell us about your interactions with your professors and the influence your professors had on your family?

The professors and staff in the mathematics department, as well as the School of Science in general, are at the cutting edge of their respective fields.  I always felt that the information we were being taught was the most current.  This is very important in the field of Actuarial Science because requirements and actuarial exam syllabi can change often. Our professors were always very involved in helping us to succeed.  Their dedication and attention have meant so much to our family.

What advice would you have for a student who was thinking about studying Math at IUPUI?

You can do it!  It takes a lot of hard work.  Don't be afraid to ask questions!  Take advantage of the help that is offered.  Go to the tutoring centers; reach out to fellow students, professors and advisors.  Join clubs; get involved!  Look for research projects you can do.