Skip to main content
Alumnus/Alumna profile

Jake Chinis

Bachelor of Science
Honours in Pure and Applied Mathematics
Master of Science
Thesis title: Computing the average root number of a one-parameter family of elliptic curves defined over Q

A passion for math, for its own sake

After going above and beyond, and learning the content of an entire textbook, one student is ready to teach Math at a high level

Jake Chinis wanted to dive deeper into his math courses, and his professors were ready to help him go there.

What drew you to pure and applied mathematics?

I think mathematics is an art form and I like to study it for its own sake. In number theory in particular, you have such elegant problems that I find beautiful. You can state really simple problems, in the most elementary way possible within the proofs, and the methods to solve them are exceptionally elaborate.

What was the best part of the program?

The professors. I felt like they made time for me in the sense that they really, really wanted to help me succeed. And for them it wasn’t just about teaching a course. I was a student who wanted to learn and they were happy to encourage me in that.

It’s about motivating students and giving them the confidence to actually do things that lead to success, like helping them follow through with studying on their own. The professors at Concordia helped me with that.

How did you decide to do Master’s-level studies?

I wanted to teach at a Cegep and that requires at least a Master’s degree, especially if you want to teach math. At the same time, I’m keeping my options open in terms of academia.

Also, Concordia is part of the Institut des sciences mathématiques and that’s a big thing. It’s a consortium of major universities in Quebec working together. Any graduate student in Montreal can take courses offered by those member universities.

What advice do you have for prospective students interested in Pure and Applied Mathematics?

It’s very important not to limit yourself to what you learn in class. That was one of my bigger drawbacks personally, because at one point, I was so focused on my grades. But that grade isn’t always reflective of how much you learn.

For instance, analysis was something I was passionate about and so I learned the textbook from cover to cover. I answered every single exercise inside. I went above and beyond what was expected of me in that classroom. And today I could easily teach that course because I actually learned what was being taught — I didn’t just memorize and regurgitate it.

Back to top

© Concordia University