The Mathematics Department
The department of mathematics offers four bachelor's degree options and a math minor. The four majors are
- B.S. in Mathematics
- B.A. in Mathematics
- B.S. in Applied Mathematics
- B.S. in Biomathematics
These four majors share a number of courses in the first and second year adding flexibility to deciding which one a student may be most intersested in. To be more specific, each major requires Calculus I, II, and III and another course called Linear Algebra which is typically taken as a sophomore. Additionally, the math minor also requires these same four courses. After these courses, the majors begin to differ in their math requirements while all four majors have a large number of elective math course options. So if you enjoy math and/or are considering any major in the sciences, these options provide numerous avenues to pursue mathematics.
The program begins with Calculus and Linear Algebra. More advanced studies are in pure (e.g. Real Analysis, Modern Algebra, Complex Variables) or applied mathematics (e.g. Numerical Analysis, Statistics, Differential Equations.) Click here to read more about other upper division courses that math majors can choose.
Although many course titles may sound foreign to you, all of them are taught by experienced (full time) faculty consistently ranked very highly by students. We pay close attention to the quality of our teaching and pride ourselves in working individually with all math majors.
The Biomathematics program is an option for students who want to study both applied mathematics and biology. You may be familiar with the use of statistics in experimental science but Biomathematics goes beyond this. The study of epidemics (the spread of diseases) uses very sophisticated mathematical techniques. Scientists routinely use advanced mathematics to describe how the heart works, how blood flows, how nerve impulses are transmitted, how tumors grow, and how entire organisms grow. The rapid advancement of this discipline and the health industry led us to introduce an unusual major in Biomathematics.
The program requires seven mathematics, six biology, four chemistry, and two physics courses plus a computer literacy course. The biology courses must fit in one of four tracks: epidemiology, molecular biology, physiology, or population biology.
Biomathematics was first offered at the University in the Fall of 1999. Since then most of our biomath graduates went to medical and dental schools. Others continue their education in Ph.D. programs in pharmacology, biochemistry, and similar related fields. Some work for environmental companies.
Nearly all math majors complete a minor in computer science, chemistry, physics, or economics. Some double major in education. Approximately 60% of our graduates find employment in insurance agencies, research labs, schools, and financial institutions. They start as actuaries, programmers, teachers, and statisticians. Among their employers are: AT&T, Prudential Insurance, Hewitt Associates, Towers Perrin, and Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Their salaries are similar to science students (e.g., Chemistry, Computers) and business students (Accounting, Finance).
The remaining 40% of math majors continue their education in graduate schools. Further information about careers in mathematics can be found at the AMS (American Mathematical Society) website.
Our students have an excellent record of acceptances into graduate schools. We prepare our students by frequently offering advanced math classes with less than ten students. Teachers have an opportunity to raise students' math skills to new levels. Many students discover that they enjoy definitions, theorems and proofs of higher mathematics and choose to continue their studies in a graduate school.
Those who express an early interest in higher math have an opportunity to enroll in the Faculty - Student Research Program or the Honors Program. After two to four semesters of joint research with faculty members, students write papers that are sent to refereed journals. Not only have all of our students' papers been accepted but they have won several regional Mathematical Association of America Awards (click here and here for details). This kind of accomplishment opens the doors to many graduate schools with full scholarships. Recent graduates have attended Lehigh University, Indiana University, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, University of Pennsylvania, and many other schools.
With a $40,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Board of Education and a $127,000 grant from the Arthur Vining- Davis Foundation the mathematics department has developed a state of the art computational laboratory and study room. Known as the Math Lab it is primarily intended for math students use. Nearly twenty computers are equipped with the latest versions of Maple, Geometer's Sketchpad, Scientific Workplace and other math software.
The Math Lab is located only a few steps from faculty offices so that students may easily ask for assistance with their homework. Our faculty expertise covers all major areas of mathematics.
Students in our department have participated in undergraduate mathematics competitions such as the Garden State Undergraduate Mathematics Competition (GSUMC) and the Putnam Exam. The top team from the University of Scranton won the GSUMC in 2004 and our Putnam team placed among the top 150 schools in the nation in 2010.