Marc DeBenedetti


What was your MCS program of study?

Double major in Mathematics and Physics, and a minor in computer science.


What did you learn while at UTM?

Interested in education as a profession, I came to UTM for our Concurrent Teacher Education Program (CTEP) – which has unfortunately since been discontinued. This program allowed us to complete our bachelor's degree here at UTM and then automatically transition to OISE (UofT’s teacher’s college) to complete our teaching certificate. Since my undergraduate program here at UTM was a double major in Mathematics and Physics, and a minor in computer science, one can imagine I spent a lot of time here in MCS. 


Can you share with us your career story to date?

I’m eager to share my unique professional journey in hopes it helps even one person follow their passion or at least provide some ideas of possible avenues for post-graduation.

Being interested in teaching, I was very fortunate to start working as a TA in my second year for some physics courses, and subsequently math courses in my later years. Although the next stage of my education was already pre-determined to be at OISE, it was near the end of my undergraduate degree, after many years of TAing, that I started to become interested in teaching at a university level. I tried very hard to find a field of study for my PhD that was closely related to all three of my subjects – math, CS, and physics. After a lot of networking with faculty in my final years at UTM, I was able to find an opportunity to do my Ph.D. in atmospheric physics – a field that is not only applicable to current issues but was also a perfect harmony of applied mathematics, physics, and computer science. 

I currently work in the industry full-time as a biostatistician at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), but still pursue my passion for education by teaching some night classes in the MCS department in my spare time. 


Any advice on career planning and job search?

Despite spending so many years working towards a teaching career, an opportunity arose at BMS through my professional network (mainly developed through my doctoral studies). Admittedly, I never imagined I would have a career in biostatistics, however, there happened to be a lot of transferrable skills I was able to use from my formal educational training as well as many attributes of teaching. 

In addition to needing some statistics knowledge, strong analytical and mathematical skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills have been a huge asset and allow me to be adaptable in new scientific environments – skills I suspect every scientific job will require. Having strong communication, interpersonal, and leadership skills are also key aspects of my role that are needed to be successful – all of which come naturally from my experience as a teacher. Although I love what I do at BMS, education is still a passion of mine and I’m happy that I was able to find my way back to MCS as an assistant professor to teach mathematics and computer science part-time. 

My advice for everyone would be to let your passion guide you and not be afraid to let life lead along an unplanned journey – you never know where it might lead! 


How can MCS students connect with you?