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Across Disciplines The student-faculty collaboration at the heart of the Lally experience becomes especially dynamic when it embraces the interdisciplinary spirit that defines Rensselaer. Lally Professor Aparna Gupta embodies that spirit as her areas of academic interestrisk management financial engineering and financial decision supportdraw on her background in computational mathematics and industrial and systems engineering. Dr. Gupta worked closely with Anthony Giangreco-Marotta 12 a mathematics major economics minor who turned to her for help with his senior research paper after taking her course in risk management. Having interned with the Hanover Insurance Group I decided to become an actuary says Giangreco-Marotta. So I was looking to get more of an actuarial research project and no single person in the math department had that kind of expertise. Thats when I asked Dr. Gupta if she could work with me. Giangreco-Marotta told Professor Gupta that he wanted to study something in the field of insurance and she guided him toward the issue of agricultural risk associated with weather. It was a great experience he recalls. Dr. Gupta did a very good job of helping me focus. For Giangreco- Marotta who was hired by Hanover before graduating Rensselaers interdisciplinary environment has made all the difference. Doors are never really closed for you here he says. You can go anywhere. ItTakesTwoSometimesthespecialenergythatemanatesfromtwopeopleworkingwelltogethercanovercomeallodds.Suchwasthe casewithNancyBota11andKudzanayiMunetsi-Mugomba11second-yearMBAstudentswhoenteredthe2011CaseCompetition oftheNationalBlackMBAAssociationInc.NBMBAA.Asateamoftwotheyfaced25largerteamsfromschoolslikeDukeMIT andBerkeleyandscoredinthetoptieroffinalists.Westuckoutfromthecrowdbecauseitwasjustthetwoofusandwewerein unchartedwatersnotknowingwhattoexpectsaysZimbabwe-bornMunetsi-Mugomba.Butthejudgeswereimpressedwiththe depthwebroughttoanalyzingourbusinesscase. I want teaching to be a learning experience for me too. I dont want to direct students to a place where I know everything. I want to explore together. APARNA GUPTA