Department Fact Sheet
Mathematics

Department of Mathematics & Computer Science

Department Chair:
Kenneth H. Luther, Ph.D.
Gellersen 110 | 219-464-5181
Ken.Luther@valpo.edu

Majors offered:
Mathematics, B.A., B.S.

Links to Web sites:
Catalogs
Department of Mathematics & Computer Science

Mathematics is a universal tool similar to language. It allows people to see connections between problems in many areas, to solve problems in a systematic way, and to communicate all of this to others. People who are proficient in mathematics can apply this tool to areas as diverse as engineering, science, business, social service, and the arts. VU's mathematics program encourages students to see the connections and interplay between mathematics and other disciplines.

What Is Distinctive About Valpo's Program?

Research:
Valpo undergraduate mathematics research groups are open to incoming freshmen. You can take advantage of these research opportunities while on campus during the academic year and also participate in off-campus research activities during the summer or semesters away from campus.

Earn & Learn:
Numerous part-time employment opportunities are available to mathematics majors. Within the department, students are employed as graders, tutors, help session leaders, and office staff. The first three of these provide students with excellent opportunities to learn mathematics by teaching. A popular employer of mathematics outside of the department is Electronic Information Services, which provides computer support to the campus.

Job Placement:
VU mathematics graduates consistently find employment opportunities or graduate school offers. Usually, 100% of our graduates find desired employment within six months of graduation.

What Can You Do with a Mathematics Major?

Degree, Skills or Experience Needed for Beginning a Job in This Field:
An undergraduate major in mathematics provides you with quantitative skills, as well as analytical problem solving and technical communication skills. These are the types of skills that are valuable in many work enviroments.

Kinds of Work Available to Graduates in this Major:Recent VU math graduates work in a variety of fields, including:

  • Teaching
  • Political Analysis
  • Theological Scholarship
  • Software Design
  • Meteorology

Graduates from the past few years are employed with the US Navy, TelePro, Inc., Hewitt Associates, Motorola, Crown Point High School, Compaq, and Applied Systems.

Valpo also offers an interdisciplinary actuarial science major. The curriculum integrates mathematics courses with courses from the College of Business Administration.

Potential Hiring Institutions:
Positions in statistical analysis, education, scientific research, industrial research, and operations research are available to mathematics majors. Potential hiring institutions include government agencies at all levels, research institutions, schools, software companies, insurance companies, and commercial enterprises.

Graduate Schools:
Recent VU mathematics graduates have gone to graduate programs in mathematics, physics, computer science, geography, education, and meteorology. They have entered programs at institutions including Auburn University, Carnegie Mellon University, Michigan State University, North Carolina State University, Purdue University, University of California-San Diego, University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin, and other prominent institutions across the country. More information on graduate programs is also available at www.valpo.edu/mcs/alumni/graduatejobs.php

What Beyond-the-Classroom Opportunities Does Valpo Offer You in Mathematics?

Students are encouraged to attend the monthly faculty colloquia, to participate in research projects and attend professional meetings, and are offered opportunities to compete in regional and national mathematics competitions. Visit http://www.valpo.edu/mcs for more details. If you're a musician, you can participate in the annual departmental concert!
In addition, Valpo students can choose from over 100 clubs and organization on campus or start their own!

Off-Campus Opportunities

Cooperative Education and Internships:
You are encouraged to take advantage of full or part-time internships and cooperative education job placements during your time at Valpo. Our students have done co-op experiences around the nation with Texas Instruments, IBM, Northwestern Mutual Life, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and others. International co-ops are also possible.

Outreach to K-12 Schools:
The MENI (Mathematics Experiences in Northwest Indiana) Office coordinates outreach programs to students and teachers in the K-12 system. Faculty members and students are frequently recruited to help with these activities. For the past 4 years, the Deparment has hosted the Northwest Indiana Mathcounts competition and, for the past five years, the Mathematics Minicamp for Women. The latter is an opportunity for eighth and ninth grade girls to explore and to share applications of mathematics to communication, science, and engineering.

Study Abroad:
Take part in one of Valpo’s 14 international studies programs in countries such as Mexico, England, Spain, France, Greece, Germany, Namibia, China, or Japan. Students may also take advantage of semester-long programs in New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Students are also encouraged to consider participating in the semester-long mathematics program in Budapest, Hungary.