Will Smit & Alan

What is your name? Will Smit

Please tell us a bit about your history. Please include a bit about your educational background, your career path, and your family: I’m a first generation immigrant.  My parents moved me from Holland and England when I was 8.  I went to school in the west coast of Canada and studied Electrical Engineering.  I moved to California in 1999 when I was 27 and I work for a telecommunications company.  I design and sell internet solutions for AT&T broadband and U-Verse. II have two kids, age 11 (6th grade) and age 14 (freshman high school).

How long have you volunteered with We Teach Science Foundation: First time this year.

What are some ways you use math at your job? We need math to understand broadband and bandwidth that gets used by our equipment.  A lot of it is statistical type of calculations. We also use math to understand and explain the pricing of our equipment and contracts, as they can get quite complicated.

Why do you like math and/or science? What is your favorite math or science memory as a student? I love math.  I love science.  It is a form of art and once you get into some calculus and some physics you get to see life with a whole new lens.  Albert Einstein is my personal hero.  I also love Neil Degrasse Tyson (the Cosmos guy).  And I like Bill Nye.  My favorite memory as a student is my college prof who was Jewish and from Germany. He looked and sounded like Einstein and had passion for the math and the science. He taught me about the beauty and simplicity of it.

What are some things you struggled with growing up? What was hard for you in school? What are some things that are challenging for you now? I struggled with finding some balance in a busy modern life between work and family and myself.

What are some of your favorite things to do? What were a few of your hobbies growing up? What are your current hobbies and interests? I liked to ride dirt bikes. I used to build and fly model airplanes.  I still like motorcycles, I have a couple. I love camping, surfing and I like to build things and do projects on my house.  We have two dogs and I enjoy their company.  (A tiny one of 5 lbs and a big lab of 80 lbs)