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California native and avid footbagger Phong Le wasted no time in taking his math knowledge beyond the classroom. After graduating from Goucher, he play-tested video games for Interplay Entertainment Corporation, working on titles for the XBox and PS2 console systems.

"Math is just math," says Phong Le, a mathematics graduate with a minor in music. "I like it well enough, but I've never been married to it."

Le took his open-minded approach into the real world immediately after graduation, with a position in the Quality Assurance department of Interplay Entertainment Corporation. He spent four months play-testing video games for the XBox and PS2 console systems.

"It was by far the best job I've ever had," says Le. "After all, I was getting paid to play video games. I took Software Engineering with Tom Kelliher at Goucher, and figured I'd put some of that learning to use. It was interesting to see all the things we'd talked about in class in action."

After leaving Interplay, Le entered a Ph.D. program in mathematics at the University of California, Irvine, where he holds an assistantship teaching elementary differential equations. He enjoys the work, and plans to continue his teaching career at the university level.

"What I have really gained from Goucher, and enjoy greatly, is the ability to develop and discuss abstract concepts," says Le. "Whether I'm explaining some notion of gameplay that I feel is weak or ineffective, or talking about the properties of complex numbers, the ability to understand foreign or strange trains of thought just seems so critical to me. I honestly feel that I grew in that capacity during my years at Goucher."

Phong Le

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