Mathematics Department – Arts and Sciences | University of Scranton

Mathematics Department

What We Do:

Encourage students to channel their love of logic, patterns and problem-solving to make a difference in the world around them. Professors in the Mathematics Department won’t simply tell students an answer – they help students discover how to find one themselves. Our classrooms, Math Lab and Math Project Room are hubs for learning, discussion, invention and creativity. 

How We Stand Out:

  • Experiential learning in the classroom.
  • Opportunities for internships and faculty-mentored research prepare students for success in the competitive job market and/or advanced study in mathematics.
  • State of the art Math Lab with high-tech computers equipped with the latest versions of Maple, Geometer’s Sketchpad, Scientific Workplace and other math software.
  • Small class sizes and student-oriented professors create a strong learning community.
  • Broad course selection not offered at many other undergraduate institutions. 

Programs:

The mathematics department offers a B.S. in Mathematics, and B.A. in Mathematics, a B.S. in Mathematical Sciences with tracks in Actuarial Science, Biological Sciences, Computer & Information Science, Data Science, and Physical Sciences, a BS in Applied Mathematics, and a B.S. in Biomathematics. These programs share a number of courses in the first and second year adding flexibility to deciding which path to pursue. Additionally, the department offers minors in Actuarial Science and Mathematics, and the Data Science Concentration is also affiliated with the Mathematics Department.

  • Mathematics B.S. - The Mathematics B.S. and B.A. programs provide students with both breadth and depth in the discipline of mathematics. The B.S. option is a good choice for students looking towards a career in more directly tied to mathematics or pursuing graduate work. Mathematics students have great flexibility: many continue with advanced study in mathematics while others pursue a career in education, or any one of a variety of other fields.
  • Mathematics B.A. - The Mathematics B.S. and B.A. programs provide students with both breadth and depth in the discipline of mathematics. The B.A. option is a good choice for students with interests beyond math and even beyond STEM as there are broad requirements to complete multiple blocks of courses in other areas. Mathematics students have great flexibility: many continue with advanced study in mathematics while others pursue a career in education, or any one of a variety of other fields.
  • Mathematical Sciences B.S. - A Mathematical Sciences B.S. student will choose from the following tracks: Actuarial Science, Biological Sciences, Computer & Information Science, Data Science, and Physical Sciences. All students take core courses in calculus and linear algebra, and then, depending on the chosen track, an array of upper-division mathematics courses and cognate courses from the partner discipline. Elective courses in mathematics, the partner discipline, and from the sciences at large are required and can be chosen in a manner that helps the student lay the groundwork for future graduate study, careers, or to take electives recommended for pre-med or pre-health professions students and is flexible enough to facilitate a double major with a program in the chosen partner discipline.
  • Biomathematics, B.S. - The Biomathematics B.S. emphasizes the mathematical and scientific concepts necessary for quantitative approaches to the study of biology and medicine. With two distinct tracks, a pre-health track and a research track, Biomathematics graduates are well-prepared to pursue a variety of career opportunities in medicine, the health sciences, or basic scientific research. 
  • Applied Mathematics B.S. - The Applied Mathematics BS trains students in those areas of mathematics that are foundational in solving problems in business and industry. Students of applied mathematics often pursue a career or advanced study in fields from science, engineering, economics, or finance.
  • Actuarial Science Minor - The Minor in Actuarial Science is designed to provide students with the fundamentals needed to pursue careers in the actuarial profession including coursework in the subject areas of two entry-level actuarial exams. The Minor requires 21 to 24 credits.
  • Mathematics Minor
  • Data Science Concentration - Data science is an emerging and interdisciplinary field that uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms and systems to extract knowledge from data. The Data Science Concentration is designed to offer an opportunity for students, mainly in Applied Math and Applied Computing, to acquire data science knowledge and skills in addition to their major Students are required to take a total of 40 credits, of which 11 credits are of Math, 20 of Computer Science, and 9 of Data Science. Students in Applied Math and Applied Computing are able to complete the requirements as major courses, cognate course, and GE free electives.

Meet Our Faculty:

Discover professors who are passionate about their work in the Mathematics Department at The University of Scranton. Our faculty have a broad range of backgrounds, professional accolades and career experience. We come together to provide a well-rounded mathematics education for each and every student.  

Just a few examples:

  • Dr. Steven Dougherty and Dr. Maureen Carroll coauthored an article, “Tic-Tac-Toe on a Finite Plane,” based on the game of tic-tac-toe. In 2005, they were awarded the Mathematical Association of America’s Merten M. Hasse Prize.
  • Specializing in differential geometry, Fr. John Levko is a Jesuit who holds a second doctorate in spirituality from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome.
  • Dr. Kenneth Monks is a co-developer of Lurch, a word processor that can check your reasoning. A national award-winning coach of several math competition teams, he shares his love of problem solving, chaos and fractals, and mathematical proof theory in innovative ways to help students discover fun and joy in mathematics.
  • Biomathematician Dr. Jason Graham draws connections between mathematical theory and other areas of science. He is currently working on mathematical representations of bone remodeling and injury response in articular cartilage.

Thomas Shimkus, Ph.D.

Thomas Shimkus, Ph.D.

Chair

Associate Professor and Department Chair

B.S., The University of Scranton
M.S., Ph.D., Lehigh University

Phone: 570-941-4493
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Maureen Carroll, Ph.D.

Maureen Carroll, Ph.D.

Professor

B.A., LaSalle University
M.S., Ph.D., Lehigh University

Phone: 570-941-6346
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Steven Dougherty, Ph.D.

Steven Dougherty, Ph.D.

Professor

B.S., The University of Scranton
M.S., Ph.D., Lehigh University

Phone: 570-941-6104
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Website

Anthony Ferzola, Ph.D.

Anthony Ferzola, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

B.A., Queens College
M.A., Ph.D., New York University

Phone: 570-941-4305
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Jason Graham, Ph.D.

Jason Graham, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

B.S., University of Houston
M.S., Southern Methodist University
M.S., University of Iowa
Ph.D., University of Iowa

Phone: 570-941-7491
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Jakub Jasinski, Ph.D.

Jakub Jasinski, Ph.D.

Professor

M.S., Ph.D., University of Gdansk

Phone: 570-941-6102
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John Levko, S.J., SEOD, Ph.D.

John Levko, S.J., SEOD, Ph.D.

Professor

B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Lehigh University
S.T.B., Gregorian University
M.A., John XXIII Institute, Maryknoll
S.E.O.L., S.E.O.D., Pontifical Oriental Institute

Phone: 570-941-7606
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Kenneth Monks, Ph.D.

Professor

B.S., The Pennsylvania State University
M.S., Ph.D., Lehigh University

Phone: 570-941-6101
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Jerry Muir, Ph.D.

Jerry Muir, Ph.D.

Professor

B.A., M.A., State University of New York at Potsdam
Ph.D., University of Kentucky

Phone: 570-941-6103
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Stacey Muir, Ph.D.

Stacey Muir, Ph.D.

Professor

B.S., Rockhurst College
M.A., Ph.D., University of Kentucky

Phone: 570-941-6580
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Masood Otarod, Ph.D.

Masood Otarod, Ph.D.

Professor

B.S., Pahlavi University
M.S., Sc.D., Columbia University

Phone: 570-941-7773
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Krzysztof Plotka, Ph.D.

Krzysztof Plotka, Ph.D.

Professor

M.S., University of Gdansk
Ph.D., West Virginia University

Phone: 570-941-6208
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Zhongcheng (Bonnie) Xiong, Ph.D.

Zhongcheng (Bonnie) Xiong, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

B.S., Wuhan University
M.S., Ph.D., Lehigh University

Phone: 570-941-6157
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Jennifer F. Vasquez, Ph.D.

Jennifer F. Vasquez, Ph.D.

Professor

B.S., Indiana University of Pennsylvania
M.A., Ph.D., Indiana University

Phone: 570-941-6113
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Inside the Classroom:

  • Small classes, averaging between 10-20 students, for a personalized learning experience.
  • Strong foundations in calculus and linear algebra.
  • High-tech computers and applications designed for math students.
  • Unique classes like Topics in Biomathematics, The Art of Problem Solving, Chaos and Fractals, and Coding Theory.

Student Research:

Students who show an early interest in higher mathematics have the opportunity to enroll in our Faculty Student Research Program (FSRP) or Honors Program.

Through FSRP or the Honors Program, students are exposed to an array of academic opportunities. From joint research with faculty members to authoring professional papers and presenting at national conferences, undergraduate research often leads to scholarships and other benefits in graduate schools.

What types of projects do students work on with faculty?

  • Nathan Carter, Class of 1999, coauthored Lurch, a mathematical word processor that checks your reasoning, with Dr. Kenneth Monks. Many other students of Dr. Monks have published research under his direction.
  • Samantha Baietti graduated from the Honors Program in 2009 having written the thesis Geometry of Solutions of a Differential Equation under the direction of Dr. Stacey Muir. Samantha gave a poster presentation of her work at the Joint Mathematics Meetings.
  • Francis George received a President’s Fellowship for Summer Research Award for 2014 for his research with Dr. Jakub Jasinski. This research explores locally contractive maps using Descriptive Set Theory techniques.
  • Dr. Jason Graham mentored student presentations for a Mathematical Association of America meeting in 2014:  A Mathematical Model of the Cardiovascular System by Joshua Jimenez, Mathematical Theory of Dynamic Task Allocation in Social Insects by Ivan Kent, and Mathematical Model of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation by Brittany Boribong.

Career Outcomes:

Approximately 40 percent of our math majors pursue graduate degrees while 60 percent choose to enter the job market immediately following graduation. You’ll find Scranton graduates with a mathematics degree working in fields such as:

  • Insurance
  • Finance
  • Computer Science
  • Education
  • Industrial Research Labs
  • Statistical Data Institutions
  • Transport & Logistics
  • Public Administration
  • Military Intelligence
  • Business
  • Medicine
  • Law

Learn more about career options in math: