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The Department of Mathematics currently offers four sequences within our major, a Mathematics sequence that incorporates the foundations of mathematics, a Secondary Mathematics Education sequence to prepare students to become secondary mathematics teachers, a sequence for Actuarial Science, and an interdisciplinary Statistics sequence. These sequences are briefly outlined below.
The Mathematics sequence is designed to meet the curricular guidelines of national mathematics organizations while giving the student the flexibility to further explore other aspects of mathematics or related areas while working toward their degree. Many of our mathematics majors also do a minor in a related area such as economics, business, physics, or applied computer science. Combining one’s study of mathematics with a related field enhances employability when the student graduates. (For a sampling of some current applications of mathematics, see the Mathematical Moments page of the American Mathematical Society.)
The Secondary Mathematics Education sequence is one of the largest in the country and is recognized for its excellence at the state and national levels. We have one of the largest groups of Mathematics Education faculty and diverse course offerings located in a Mathematics Department. This program does an excellent job of preparing a student to teach at the secondary level through a combination of coursework and classroom experiences. Our faculty are actively involved in mathematics education research, supporting programs from the undergraduate level to the doctoral level. We also introduce students relatively early to issues in the teaching of mathematics in a class at the sophomore level where students learn about influential documents such as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards and Principles, which are guiding the mathematical reform movement from the elementary level to the high school level and beyond. With the statewide and national demand for qualified mathematics teachers, the need for such qualified teachers is great.
Our Actuarial Science sequence is also growing and gaining in reputation. An actuary uses mathematical skills to define, analyze, and solve business and social problems. In particular, an actuary assesses future risks usually associated with possible financial losses. The insurance industry employs many actuaries to help set premiums for various insurance policies as well as to do other types of financial analysis. With an internationally known director of our Actuarial Science program and our geographical proximity to insurance companies such as State Farm Insurance and Country Companies, our students are provided with a quality education in actuarial science and excellent job prospects, especially when combined with one of the internships we offer in Actuarial Science.
In Fall of 2003, we started the Statistics Sequence. This sequence of the major is designed to prepare students for statistical work in industry and government. In addition to learning the mathematical foundation in statistics, the students will get experience in at least two cognate areas of application of statistics from Biometrics, Econometrics, and Psychometrics. This will allow the students to experience many fields of statistical applications and select a field of their choice for a career.