Benjamin Knisley

Applied Mathematics, M.S.

 

"Every one of my professors have left indelible marks that I still carry with me in my teaching and professional career. This program surprised me and I learned far more than what I was initially expecting."

Why did you choose this graduate degree program? What interested you in this particular field of study?
The faculty was the major motivation for why I chose this program. I found that the faculty’s teaching style and genuine care for their students and the comradery that exists at CBU was very impressive and a key highlight during my studies. Applied mathematics always interested me because I felt that I needed more background in the methods used in mathematical modeling. This program surprised me and I learned far more than what I was initially expecting.

What did you like about being in this program at CBU?
I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities to grow and understand how to incorporate my Christian faith within the backdrop of a demanding discipline. Mathematics takes effort but it was worth it to see how my challenges turned into precious talents that led to a deeper understanding of my faith. This, in turn, encouraged me to take on areas in my life where I felt particularly defeated.

What did you think about your professors?
First-class professors. Every one of my professors have left indelible marks that I still carry with me in my teaching and professional career. I will always remember the memorable things that were said, both technical and comical, and how the classroom fostered a sense of family and appreciation for what we were aiming to achieve.

Did you complete any field work?
My field work was performed while I worked at the County of San Bernardino. During my time in this program we generated a model that would look at how we can predict high utilizers of hospital resources to better coordinate teams and other behavioral personnel to best deliver care to those clients that needed services in a timely and potentially life-saving situation.

How did you grow while in this program at CBU?
Professionally, I learned how to approach a challenging problem, which sharpened both my reasoning and time management skills. Being married and working full-time already gave me great reasons to manage my time strategically. And while at CBU I learned how to economize my time, understand what was most important and seek the best solutions.

What have you done since graduating?
Due to my master’s degree I was able to be admitted to the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Southern California. I was also able to co-author a paper with Dr. Linn Carothers addressing the topic of "Integrating Health Data Sources to Identify, Stratify, and Predict High Utilizers of Public Systems" for the Proceedings of the 2017 Western Users of SAS Software Conference. Lastly, my degree afforded me the opportunity to be interviewed and offered a position to work as a law and justice data analyst for San Bernardino County.

How has your time at CBU prepared you for your life and career after grad school?
Spiritually, I learned more about the life and rhythm of a full-time working professional who needs to be spiritually disciplined and more so as the day-to-day pressures increase. It was very tempting to be spiritually lazy, but the support from my professors encouraged me to press on and finish well. If I had to pick one lesson from my professors during all of my studies that benefited me the most it would be to never give up on God when things get hard. 

Is there anything you learned at CBU that you still use in your professional life today?
Working hard and trusting in God that he will keep his promises. In general, the biggest lesson I learned is that every decision has a consequence that is unavoidable. In my past I often tried to hide my consequences or pretend they did not exist. This program provided an environment where I could face these challenges and, with support, overcome them.

How are you making a difference in the world?
Being a Christian makes a difference. Wherever I work I feel God has placed me there for the very purpose of being helpful for others that are searching for real hope and life in their day-to-day work. One of the great things I learned about God is that he’s very interested in our redemption and during my time at CBU I witnessed a dramatic change occur in me. And if that change could happen to me, I’m sure it can happen for others and I am more willing to participate with them to experience that life-changing decision. 

Would you recommend CBU to others?
I would wholly recommend CBU to others that are wondering if this program would be right for them. There are two questions I asked myself before I came to CBU: One, would this program provide an environment where I could grow professionally and spiritually? Two, does this program possess a staff that is willing to help in every way they can to provide their students the greatest opportunities to succeed in their professions and relationship with God? Fortunately, I found that the answer for both questions above was a unanimous yes.

 

Learn More

M.S. in Applied Mathematics
Division of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

 

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