Mathematics

Mathematics classAs a mathematics major at Saint Mary’s College, you’ll gain the foundation for problem solving in a wide variety of fields. Your courses will help you develop strong quantitative skills and the ability to think clearly about complex processes. You’ll use creativity, analysis, and logic as you learn to synthesize ideas, make decisions, and communicate your results with precision.

Outside the classroom, opportunities for research and valuable internships will prepare you for both technical and non-technical careers.

"The math classes at Saint Mary's helped develop the analytical and problem solving skills I use on a day-to-day basis. Not only does being at Saint Mary's instill in you valuable skills, it also helps you to network and make contacts while searching for your next step in life. Saint Mary's offered me more than just an education—it offered me a bright future." —Dana Dreher Schrader '07

Specialized degrees in Computational Mathematics, MIS, or Statistics & Actuarial Mathematics are also offered. If you plan to teach mathematics, a teacher concentration enables you to obtain secondary school certification in the state of Indiana.

Writing in the major
Deepen your understanding of mathematics and learn to communicate mathematical ideas to a range of audiences, through experiences that prepare you for the writing you’ll do professionally. As a sophomore, you will put together a portfolio that demonstrates your proficiency in expository mathematics. As a junior, your portfolio will focus on technical or analytical mathematical writing. Senior year, you’ll write a comprehensive paper that is evaluated by a committee of three faculty members.

Senior comprehensive project
During the second semester of your senior year, you’ll choose a topic to study independently with a faculty advisor in the mathematics department. In a special seminar, you’ll present your work to your peers. Your project will culminate with a paper and public presentation of major results, with questions from faculty members who support and understand your work. Recent examples include:

  • “Computer Graphics in 3 Dimensions”—Colleen Brannagan ’07
  • “Risky Business: The von-Neumann-Morgenstern Expected Utility Theory”—Ashley Oberst ’07
  • “Numerical Analysis and Interpolation with Application to Domestic Violence” —Michelle Stanforth ’05

Hands-on learning
Following your sophomore and junior years, you’ll be encouraged to find summer internships in a business or industry that lets you put your mathematics knowledge to use. The department maintains information on the availability of such opportunities and faculty advisors will help you identify appropriate companies and prepare resumes. Imagine working as a summer intern—usually in a paid position—at Ernst and Young, Hewlett Packard, Towers Perrin, or the Ford Motor Company.

You’ll get up-to-date advice about how to use your degree by attending "After Math," a department-sponsored forum. Through this program, you’ll make valuable contacts with recent Saint Mary’s mathematics grads who return to campus to describe their experiences on the job.

Careers
Prepare for a variety of careers in which technical skills, problem solving, and creativity are valued. Choose a professional future in information technology, business, teaching, engineering, or many other fields. Many Saint Mary’s mathematics graduates continue their studies in top graduate programs.