Most of us are comfortable using everyday math -- when we go shopping, for example. But higher level math, such as calculus, may seem mysterious, a completely unfamiliar language. As a math major, you’ll study this language and learn how to use it to describe the world. You’ll explore calculus, modern algebra, and other high-level math in the purest light.
If you love to solve math problems just to know the answer and enjoy using abstract concepts to discover whether something is true or false, this could be the major for you.
Math majors study quantities, forms, and symbolic logic in such subjects as algebra, geometry, calculus, logic, topology, and number theory.
“Like music, mathematics is the creative exploration of possibilities within rigidly prescribed rules and parameters.” David M. Bressoud, DeWitt Wallace Professor of Mathematics, Macalester College
Are You Ready To...?
- Join a campus chapter of the Mathematical Association of America
- Exercise your skills in student competitions
- Write about an independent research project in a senior thesis (long term paper)
- Write papers that explore mathematical concepts
- Use numbers to explore patterns and processes
- Study subjects that grow increasingly abstract and complicated
- Use newly learned techniques to tackle unfamiliar problems
- Take lecture courses as well as computer labs
It Helps To Be...
Someone who welcomes puzzles and other intellectual challenges and who enjoys finding patterns in the world.
- How does the department make use of computers?
- Are computer labs equipped with the latest?
- What kind of writing, statistics, and logic requirements will you have to meet?
- How often will you be able to take the higher-level courses you need? Are they offered every semester?
- Will you have opportunities to work with professors on their research?
- Does the department sponsor a club or activities related to math?
Did You Know?
A math degree will prepare you for a wealth of careers in fields ranging from finance to science.
In a class on modern geometry, you’ll study such subjects as circles, triangles, planes, quadrilaterals, similarity, and transformations. In fact, you’ll even investigate the very meaning of such basic concepts as distance, shape, and area.