Samantha Furman pursues math solutions to medical problems in unique dual Ph.D. program

Samantha Furman
B.S. Mathematics
Magna Cum Laude
Hometown: Montgomery Village, MD
Plans: Ph.D., Computational Biology, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh

My favorite thing about UMBC is that I believe, ‘It is cool to be smart at UMBC,’ is true… The students here are extremely bright, which pushes me even harder to be the best person and student I can be.

Samantha Furman has embraced the research experience as a UMBC student, pursuing projects at the interface of mathematics and biology with mentors on and off campus. She’s studied mathematical modeling of muscle atrophy with collaborators at UMBC and UMB, and helped develop image analysis techniques to determine if patients are good candidates for immunotherapy through an internship at the acclaimed Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Samantha Furman presents her research at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Center; photo courtesy of Furman.

After graduation, Furman will continue to pursue research along these lines as a Ph.D. student in a special joint computational biology program between Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh. “I want to apply my math and stat skills to medical problems,” she shares.

Furman is a Meyerhoff Scholar, MARC U*STAR Scholar, and NSA Scholar. “Without UMBC, I may not have found my passion for research because the Meyerhoff Scholars program introduced me to this beautiful world,” Furman reflects. “This university has given me all of the tools and opportunities to make me feel confident that I will be successful in my Ph.D. program.”

Furman has also served as a leader in student life on campus, including as treasurer of the club volleyball team, vice president of programming for the academic- and service-focused sorority Delta Phi Epsilon, and vice president of the Mathematics Honors Society.

Portrait by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.