Students gathered in Harper College on Wednesday evening to hear Michael Filaseta, a mathematics professor, speak as part of the Last Lecture Series.
The Last Lecture Series is an event that has been put on by the Honors College for the last 20 years. The event was coordinated by Madison Baker, a second-year political science and women and gender studies student. Baker says her favorite part about her role is getting to meet the professors and says she is hoping to improve the diversity of the lecture schedule.
Students nominate professors they would like to hear from, and the professors that get the most nominations are invited to give a lecture.
Filaseta used his time to talk about his research and what made him choose his career path to give students some guidance on choosing a career for themselves.
“My goals were to give people an idea what made me go into mathematics personally ... and at the same time give them some minor advice in terms of what to do and how to choose a path for themselves,” Filaseta said.
Filaseta had one important piece of advice for students when considering their own paths.
“Putting happiness as the ultimate goal lessens the values of our aspirations," Filaseta said. "Do what your heart tells you that you should be doing. Follow that passion.”
Don Landrum, a fourth-year computer science student, said he attended the lecture because he was interested in hearing about math but also appreciated the philosophy that Filaseta explained.
"I liked that Dr. Filaseta tied in a theme on life, his outlook on life, something we can all take away from, to do what you feel is right, not what you feel makes you happy,” Landrum said. “That's something you can take away from the lecture even if you're not mathematically inclined."
Students said they enjoyed the laid-back nature of the lectures and the opportunity to hear professors speak about things they may not get to in class. Charissa Pichai, a fourth-year computer science student, has attended several lectures since her first year at USC.
“I try to make at least one or two a semester and I've found them to be really interesting,” Pichai said. “It's a neat way to get exposed to a variety of topics and see what professors actually want to talk about besides what they just teach on a day-to-day basis."