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NEWS | May 31, 2023

NSWCDD employee finds math as a way to communicate universally

By Madeline Keenan, NSWCDD Corporate Communications

You don’t have to speak the language. Numbers are universal.” Daisy Young, a mission analyst from the Mission Analysis Branch at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) found her calling in mathematics at an early age.

When Young was 13 years old, her family had the opportunity to move from their home in Indonesia to the United States. After the family settled in Virginia, Young quickly learned that she had a knack in the STEM field. “I have always gravitated towards math and science,” Young said. “When I came to the States at age 13, I did not speak very much English, so I found that math was a universal language.”

Young earned her bachelor’s in applied mathematics from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2009. Shortly after graduation, Young and her husband, who was active military in the U.S. Army, moved around stateside and also lived in Germany.

While her husband was on active duty, she began to teach mathematics at the high school level. “I taught secondary math. It was everything from geometry, algebra, calculus and stats. Pretty much all of them,” Young said. “I was always the new teacher since we moved around so much, so I was given really any class that needed a teacher.”

After a few years, Young and her family moved back to the U.S. “When we came back stateside, I had the opportunity to pursue a career in STEM.” Young learned about the opportunities at NSWCDD through her younger brother who was working as an intern at the time.

In early 2020, Young joined the workforce supporting the Warfare Analysis and Digital Modeling Department. “It was a challenge for me at first,” Young said. “My work is mostly all designated classified, so when we were in telework status during the pandemic, it was quite a challenge for me because I was so new and I was still learning the ropes.”

Young currently supports the Naval Integrated Fire Control effort. She completed a rotation with the Weapon Control Systems Engineering Branch, where she supported the Battle Management System Initial Concept Review and Final Concept Review milestone events. She also completed a rotation with Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile Planning, Analysis and Research Branch working in the Accuracy and Test Flight group analyzing fire control error model changes.

“The math side of things drew me into being a mission analyst, but what keeps me motivated is the collaboration with physicists, scientists and engineers. It is all very interesting how we collaborate to conduct research and development,” said Young.

Young is continuing her education at Penn State World Campus. She is working towards earning her master’s degree in applied statistics and is set to graduate in the spring of 2024.

“I think coming here as a first-generation immigrant and being the oldest child in the family, you get do a lot of ‘firsts’, and that can be very daunting,” Young said. “But once I have accomplished the goals that I set for myself, it feels very fulfilling. So if I could speak to my 13-year-old self, I would tell her to keep going out of her comfort zone, not to worry so much about making mistakes, live in the moment and tell her she is doing awesome!”