What do some our alumni say about their education at HMC?

Image of Scott N. Pace (’80)

Scott Pace (’80)

George Washington University

Physics majors can certainly go on to do all kinds of strange things, even public policy and international affairs:


Physics training has been an invaluable aid throughout my career despite my grade in quantum mechanics. : >

Sept. 1, 2012

Greg Hassold (’79)

I was in fact fortunate enough to land an academic position... especially a relatively enjoyable one. Tenure is nice, too! My education at Mudd was a thorough preparation for graduate study... that was no problem.
Jan. 1, 1997

CJ Baumgart (’79)

I have had a great life since HMC, I have worked on everything from military to law enforcement to environmental analysis in the Amazon to farming software. I am most proud of my work in remote sensing combined with knowledge-based earth / terrain modeling. This work has led me all over the US, Europe, and South America. The thread of satellite imagery combined with GIS data and then pumped through human rules of expertise has spanned almost all of my projects. I couldn't have done this at all without a strong background in physics.
Jan. 1, 1997

Mike Leung (’78)

Northrop Grumman

… it has been my experience that the physics background is extremely well suited to the ebbs and flows and constant changes in industry. Perhaps you can use that as a selling point to attract more majors. What I have found with myself and other PhD physicists at Northrop (former TRW), is that we are the most versatile of the many technical disciplines at work. I'll mention a few skills that the physics major imparts that perhaps aren't as strong in many engineering majors:

  • the physicists seem to have better critical thinking skills and quantitative skills
  • the physicists who were experimentalists in graduate school (or perhaps even during senior research) have a very broad knowledge and can step easily into several disciplines (e.g. I count myself very familiar with materials, vacuum techniques, cryogenic techniques, and influence of measurement equipment on experiments). This broad background is also a key advantage when it comes to troubleshooting and other problem solving
  • they seem to remember their college subject matters better; believe it or not it comes in handy sometimes. Maybe this comes from the grad school courses, I don't know

I first entered HMC intending to major in engineering. I switched to Physics because I found the subject matter and approach to teaching much more appealing.

Sept. 1, 2012