Computing and Applied Mathematics

Computational MathematicsSaint Mary's College offers several degrees in mathematics, including Computing and Applied Mathematics, Mathematics, MIS, and Statistical and Actuarial Mathematics.

"It's empowering to be in a class with all women. In a women's environment, math is just interesting, and it's fun. You can analyze problems and look at problems from a different perspective." —Anna Fricano '08

Computing and applied mathematics combines computer science and statistics with applied mathematics. The program will enable you to make predictions through modeling, analysis, algorithm development, and simulation.

Computing and applied mathematics can be applied to a variety of subjects. In medicine and biology it can be used to predict the course of diseases, to study the brain by mapping neurons or sequence genes. Businesses and government utilize it for strategic planning and data mining. Even the entertainment industry uses computational mathematics for use in computer animation and digital imaging!

Writing in the Major
The purpose of the Advanced Writing Requirement in Mathematics is to develop mathematical writing skills in order to deepen your understanding of mathematics and to enable you to communicate mathematical ideas to a range of audiences. As a sophomore you will demonstrate proficiency in expository mathematics by the submission of an acceptable portfolio. As a junior you will demonstrate proficiency in technical or analytical mathematical writing by the submission of an acceptable portfolio. Seniors complete a senior comprehensive paper, which is evaluated by a committee of three faculty.

Senior Comprehensive Examination
The college requirement for a Senior Comprehensive Examination is met by completing an extended independent study project on an unfamiliar topic. A faculty member will be there to supervise your progress and provide aid where needed. The project culminates in the public presentation of a written paper of the results of the study. Questioning by a faculty committee, including the faculty advisor and the seminar instructor will follow. The paper also serves as the final submission for the Advanced Writing portfolio.

Hands-on Learning
You have the opportunity to become a student worker as a microcomputer support specialist, or a laboratory assistant or supervisor. You'll have the opportunity to gain valuable experience, working with fellow students and faculty in different courses, languages, and on a variety of computer equipment.

Computers available for student use have network access to the central computer and to national networks. Students may connect to the Internet from the student labs listed above or from personal computers in the dorms.

You are also encouraged to find summer internships or apprentice positions in business or industry following your sophomore and junior years. Mathematics majors that intern are usually paid a salary. The Mathematics Department and the Career Development Center maintain files of information on the availability of such opportunities.

Most recently students have interned with:

  • Ernst and Young
  • Andersen Consulting
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Cayenne Software
  • Towers Perrin
  • Lockheed Martin (Johnson Space Center)
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Computer Services Corporation

Recent alumnae are attending graduate schools such as Iowa State, Loyola, University of Chicago, and the University of Missouri-Columbia. Career opportunities exist in critical industries such as aerospace, engineering, electronics, biology, and medicine.