The Valparaiso University mathematics and statistics department has long maintained an active program of undergraduate research. From the beginning of their first year, students may choose to join a small research group that works on a project, typically for an academic year, under the guidance of a faculty member. Each team includes both beginning and advanced students.
Valpo math majors have plenty of opportunities to learn how to communicate mathematical concepts and research findings. This training begins with the department’s weekly colloquium, which is required for all majors. As students progress through the major, they take on increasing responsibility for the colloquium’s content by moderating discussions, scheduling speakers, and giving presentations of their own.
Math majors are also encouraged to attend regional conferences with faculty. These conferences include those of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Mathematical Association of America as well as conferences that focus on undergraduate mathematics research. Valpo students often present their research at these conferences.
Two of Valparaiso University’s many Study Abroad partnerships are focused specifically on the study of mathematics: the Budapest Semesters and Math in Moscow. Both are English-language programs.
Valpo’s mathematics and statistics students are encouraged to participate in various competitions both locally and nationally. These include the Putnam Exam, the Mathematical Contest in Modeling, and the Indiana College Mathematics Competition.
Practicum in Mathematics
The practicum, available to upper-division students with the approval of the department chair, offers intensive, supervised professional experience and/or technical training in math-related fields. The student submits a written report on the experience.
Co-op placements allow students to earn academic credit for paid professional experience, with the preauthorization of the department chair. Grades are based on employer evaluations and written and oral reports by students.