Educational Philosophy

The mathematical sciences - mathematics, statistics, and computer science - are sometimes considered a “human endeavor” in which people create mathematical structures to investigate.  Other times, they are considered a “science” containing theorems and ideas that people discover, much the same way that we investigate the world around us.  And still at other times, the mathematical sciences are simply considered a “tool” for getting some task completed.

 

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Regardless of your view of mathematics, these three perspectives put mathematics, and its related disciplines, at the center of the Venn diagram of three major parts of a university: Arts & Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Professional Studies.  Hence the graphic for this website.

We take the central role of the mathematical sciences seriously.  Our curriculum is designed to provide students with the maximum flexibility to integrate their mathematical studies with other programs: we routinely graduate students with double majors in fields as diverse as theology, meteorology, and mechanical engineering.

We respond to the fact that our majors come to us with many different interests and goals by having a strong academic advising program.  Through frequent conversations with their official advisor and other faculty in the department, students are assisted in the process of identifying a vocation.  They are provided information about many career paths, encouraged to explore all of their options, shortcuts through bureaucracy, and candid assessments of their progress towards their life and academic goals.