Andrea Goldsmith was one of those students who was interested in everything, and like many high school graduates, she didn’t know what she was going to study in college. A gap year spent traveling made her even more interested in politics and languages, and when she began her freshman year at the University of California, Berkeley, she thought seriously about majoring in political science. Her father, though, advised her to enter the engineering school, reasoning that it was much easier to transfer out of than into engineering with its prerequisites, heavy course loads, and harsh grading. She followed his advice—he was, after all, a mechanical engineering professor at the school—and declared engineering math as her major.
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