Alumni Spotlight-McAssey

Michael McAssey Banner

I completed my Ph.D. in Statistics at UC Davis in February 2011, and I immediately started a post-doc research position at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  I worked on statistical modeling of neuronal connectivity in the human brain using virtual neurons generated by the NETMORPH software.  Alongside this, I also taught a statistical modeling course for the graduate business students.  I was very excited to move to Europe since I had European citizenship but had never been other than a brief visit to Ireland when I was a boy.  As a result, I did as much traveling as possible during those first few years. 

Towards the end of my post-doc, I taught a course in calculus and applied statistics for one semester at Amsterdam University College (AUC), a three-year liberal arts and sciences bachelor program taught entirely in English to high-achieving students from around the world and administered jointly by the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam and the Universiteit van Amsterdam.  I enjoyed teaching and found that this was my ideal work environment, so applied for a full-time position.  I began in September 2013, and teach six sections among 5 courses per year in calculus and statistics.  I serve as an academic advisor for about 30 students, sit on the admissions committee, supervise bachelor theses, and manage support for students with mathematical deficiencies. 

Although I enjoy research, I did not want a position in which I was under constant, intense pressure to attract funding, publish articles in high ranking journals and supervise research teams.  I enjoy teaching and working directly with the students so I am therefore very content with my role at AUC, where I have already been recognized as Teacher of the Year and have a great opportunity to have a powerful influence on hundreds of young students every year.