Department of Mathematics
Mathematics is the language of science and technology. Its explosive development in the 20th century and its history as the oldest and most highly developed discipline make it one of the most exciting and rewarding areas of study.
The use of mathematics and the need for mathematical competence has increased tremendously. Mathematical training is in high demand in such fields as actuarial science, business, economics and commerce, engineering, and statistics, as well as the basic sciences. These disciplines, in turn, feed back new directions to the mathematical community. Trends indicate that students should plan their programs to reflect the increased emphasis on interdisciplinary competency.
Students are able to study theoretical and applied mathematics to prepare for careers or for further schooling while studying with faculty members who have a wide range of interests and expertise. Students may earn academic credit by applying what they have learned in the classroom as they gain on-the-job experience through the Cooperative Education program. Opportunities also exist for students to work as paper graders and assistants to professors.
The department offers a broad and balanced curriculum of courses. A student may major or minor in Mathematics or Mathematics Education.
Students interested in Mathematics Education should consult with their major adviser and the School of Education for professional education requirements. To meet requirements of the “No Child Left Behind” Act 2001, students interested in Mathematics Education are encouraged to declare a double major in their discipline and in education (i.e., mathematics education and mathematics). Such double majors may typically be earned by successful completion of a few additional credits. Students should contact their advisers or the Office of Registration and Records for details, and are encouraged to declare their primary and secondary majors with the Office of Registration and Records, Ceres Hall 110.
Special double majors are available with computer science, physics, and statistics. These double majors take advantage of the close relationship between mathematics and other disciplines, and allow students pursuing a major in one of these fields to expand their mathematical background.
While the choice of major need not be made during the freshman year, an early decision allows more flexibility in tailoring programs to individual interests. The department also has a graduate program offering both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Mathematics.
Pre-Actuarial Science Option
Actuarial science is the study of the evaluation and measurement of risk. The Actuarial Science option is a pre-professional program designed to provide the background needed to enter the field. Entrance into the profession is regulated under a system of examinations run by actuarial professional societies. The curriculum of the option is designed to prepare the student to pass several of these examinations. The nature of the actuarial profession requires its practitioners to have a broad knowledge of finance, law, mathematics, management, and statistics. This option leads to a double major in mathematics and statistics with either a minor in economics or additional courses in business. Students selecting this option are requested to visit with the actuarial adviser in the Department of Mathematics early and often to confirm their progress and to inform themselves of changes in the examination curriculum.