The purpose of our Where Are They Now series is twofold. We love to share alumni success stories to inspire current and future Ball State students and to highlight opportunities provided by our department.

Paul Atandoh came to Ball State University from Ghana in August 2017 to study actuarial science and statistics.Paul Atandoh

Tell us about your current job. We’d love to hear about the day-to-day work and your broader projects.

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Mathematics Department at Mercer University, where I teach statistics-related courses. I am interested in a number of problems in Statistical Analysis of Network Data, Variational Inference, Natural Language Processing, Actuarial and Insurance, and Public Health. Recent projects have focused on network data, text mining, and public health.

Describe your career path. Did you land your current job immediately after graduation or find your way there circuitously?

While I was in Ghana, I enjoyed my job as a monitoring officer at the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority. I have always assumed that working in the industry was my calling.

Back at Ball State, I had the opportunity to work as a tutor at the learning center and also teach an introductory course in math. That was the beginning of my realization of my passion for teaching. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a tutor and an instructor at Ball State.

To achieve my goal of becoming a professor one day, I decided to pursue a doctoral degree at Western Michigan University.

What is the most fulfilling part of your current job?

I gain a deeper understanding of my subject area every day, which motivates me to continue learning, which in turn helps me better explain concepts and guide students through projects. There is nothing more satisfying to me than knowing that I am at the top of my profession, serving and leading students to the best of my ability.

What are the most valuable skills you learned as a Ball State student in the College of Sciences and Humanities? How have they helped you post-graduation?

As a result of the intensive actuarial training I received at Ball State, I was able to improve my test-taking skills and successfully pass the actuarial exams that I took. Additionally, the opportunity to teach at Ball State gave me a better appreciation for my ability to effectively teach as well as my leadership in and outside the classroom.

Is there a particular class, professor, or professional opportunity that had a particularly significant impact on you?

I received a great deal of guidance and inspiration from a number of professors, ranging from academic, teaching, mentoring, and social life. Among the professors who had a significant impact on me were Z. Yang, G. Dean, Imon R., B. Frye, Hanspeter F., R. Bremigan, and D. Lazar.

What advice do you have for current or future students in your major or who might hope to follow your career path?

It is imperative that you work hard and diligently, do your best, and reach out to your professors when you need help. Get to know them, let them know what your plans are for the future. Being involved in campus events and social organizations is a great way to meet new people and establish relationships.

Thank you for your time and impact! Chirp, Chirp!

Read more about the careers and successes of our mathematics alumni.