Mathematics professors are especially interested in helping students understand and appreciate the importance and usefulness of mathematics in the modern world. Assignments and projects emphasize the real-life applications of math in other fields of study. For example, the faculty recently developed a new two-semester scientific calculus course (MATH 231-232) that combines the core calculus concepts with other math topics important to the natural sciences.
Math professors recognize that not all students will decide to study mathematics at the graduate level. In response, the department prepares students for a variety of career paths including education, industrial and governmental research and careers in actuarial science and economics. For students who do want to go on to graduate school, professors try to expose them to pure and applied mathematics in balanced doses so that they can make decisions about the kind of math they want to pursue in graduate school. Professors recognize that the best preparation students can have for graduate school is to participate in undergraduate research projects. Research leads to close student and faculty collaboration, which seniors cite in their annual exit interviews as the single greatest strength of the department. Faculty members are consistently willing and excited to work one-on-one with students as they wrestle with complex material.