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Why not a math PhD?

my photo of the blackboard after working out Euler's solution to the Basel Problem

When I’ve shared that I’m pursuing a doctorate in Educational Psychology, I’ve been asked a few times why I’m not getting my PhD in Math.

My joking answer is that I’m no longer eligible for a Fields Medal (having passed 40 years of age).

The serious answer is that it’s not my passion nor my capability. I could (probably) have gotten a PhD in math back when I was in graduate school when I was 27, but that brain is very different than my brain now. My interest in a PhD was always as a ticket to teach at the college level, and thanks to dumb luck, WSU took a chance on me and gave me my dream job even with an MA. Sure, I make a lot less than I would with a PhD and I can never have tenure, but I was able to be home and present with my kid instead of hopping postdocs and chasing a tenure position with all the research and tears it entails.

My interest has always been in the teaching and learning side, and now I have the opportunity to dive deeply into that passion. And it’ll help me in my day job as I continue being a teacher and instructional director.

I’m really excited by Ed Psych in ways that Fourier Analysis never did for me.