A Solid Combination

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After graduating from Illinois Tech, Kevin Ventullo earned a Ph.D. in pure mathematics at UCLA. He spent a year teaching at McGill University, but left academia to join Facebook in its Boston office.

Ventullo says the emphasis on developing cross-disciplinary skills at Illinois Tech served his career well. 

“I was strongly encouraged to enroll in computer science courses as part of my minor, which I did so a little begrudgingly,” Ventullo says. “Transitioning from pure mathematics research to the tech industry was no picnic, but would have been nearly impossible without that foundational knowledge.”

While enrolled at Illinois Tech, Ventullo spent two summers conducting research through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program.

“These programs were invaluable, in that they instilled in me the confidence that I was capable of generating novel ideas to solve previously unsolved problems, perhaps after weeks or months of trying things that didn't pan out,” he says. “In other words, they made me believe that I could do research.”