Dylan King: Mathematics

Dylan King: Mathematics

Dylan King is a Mathematics Major from Walnut Cove, N.C. He chose to attend Wake Forest with the expectation that its small size would allow him to form personal relationships with his professors, and largely this expectation was met. Even in non-major courses he was able to get to know his professors well, and the university’s performance as a serious research institution despite its size was a plus.

At the root of King’s experience in the math major is a passion for the subject. “I’m a math major because I like working on hard math problems.” King notes that, just as his passion for mathematics has given him the drive to work through challenges, incoming first years should similarly look for what they enjoy and hone in on that. 

“Find what you think is really fun and focus on that. For me it was math,” he said. “It’s challenging, but I don’t mind working hard because it’s fun to do. If you can find what makes you tick, it won’t be difficult to put the hours in, it’ll come naturally.”

King also notes that the challenge is a natural aspect of math, and that those with a future in math courses should expect and embrace it. 

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“It’s not only okay, but completely expected that you struggle. That isn’t a sign that you’re bad at math or that you should drop the class, it’s a sign that you are at the boundary of what you know. That’s where you should want to be,” King said. 

Many of King’s favorite experiences at Wake Forest, both in and out of class have involved interacting and bonding with other students. Part of what he’s enjoyed most as a math major is collaborating with other students and gaining new perspectives on problems. 

“I have enjoyed learning with and from other students in the major — both undergrad and grad students.” he said. “I think talking with other people about the same math problem often helps me see another way to think about the question.”

He notes one of his major accomplishments to be the group of friends he’s made over the course of his time at Wake Forest. 

“In Wake Forest, out of Wake Forest, in and out of math, I really like talking to people,” King said. “I always like seeing someone that I know, and seeing their face light up when we see each other.” 

One of his favorite memories at Wake Forest was a sea kayaking and camping trip during the Easter weekend of his sophomore year. For King, the friendships he formed were a valuable part of his experience at Wake Forest, just like his study of mathematics.

King also enjoyed his experience in extra curriculars. He was on the Wake Forest Quiz Bowl team, which he notes was good for when wanted a break from math. He also served as a DJ for Wake Radio.

He describes his experience at Wake Forest coming to an end as bittersweet. He feels that he is ready to reach his next level of mathematical chops, but is less sure about the social change of leaving his life on campus and no longer being so close to the friends he made.

He feels confident in the underclassmen’s ability to make the most of Wake Forest in the future. “It’s a little sad that I’m leaving Wake, but I’m certain that I’m leaving it in good hands. The underclassmen are wonderful.”

After graduation, King plans to continue his study of mathematics at the University of Cambridge in England. 

“Dylan is a once-in-a-lifetime student with both a true gift for and a true passion for mathematics,” said math professor Sarah Raynor. “It has been my honor to teach him since his freshman year and I will sorely miss him after he graduates and leaves for Cambridge.”

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