BGSU

Mathematics

Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts
College of Arts and Sciences

Although it is an ancient academic discipline, mathematics is still one of today’s most dynamic and influential fields. Modern mathematics is experiencing more success now than at any other time in human history, and its importance to other areas has never been so great.

There are two aspects of mathematics. One consists of abstract ideas that people have been drawn to for thousands of years. It is remarkable how many different mathematical concepts people have worked out; the familiar progression from arithmetic through calculus is only a small part. Recent successes include the proof of the Poincare´Conjecture (Grigori Perelman, 2003), the Sphere-Packing Conjecture (Thomas Hales, 1997) and Fermat’s Last Theorem (Andrew Wiles, 1995).

The other aspect of mathematics is its use in other human endeavors, where its impact is equally stunning. Mathematics has always been indispensable in commerce, physics and engineering. In recent years mathematics has driven developments in telecommunications (data compression, encoding); medicine (genome mapping, CAT scans, ultrasound); computers (theory, algorithms); finance (computer trading, options); insurance (setting rates); weather forecasting (seven-day forecasts, climate modeling); car and airplane design (aerodynamics, computer-aided design), and many more.

These developments would have been inconceivable without the strong influence of mathematics to guide their discovery, and yet many can be understood with a well-designed undergraduate background in mathematics.

Career Opportunities

Today’s employment possibilities are more varied than ever for mathematicians. With nimble, able minds, graduates have a lot of practice solving problems by cutting through extraneous details and seeing the essential issue more clearly and quickly than others.

Outside of teaching, the banking and insurance industries are the largest employers of mathematicians. An actuarial scientist, for example, uses mathematics to design financially sound insurance and pension programs. Typical preparation is the mathematics major with the actuarial science option.

Another popular career option is to combine a mathematics major with a major or minor in computer science in order to pursue entry-level jobs requiring some amount of programming ability.

There is a considerable need for individuals with strong mathematics skills coupled with knowledge in physics, engineering, economics, geology, psychology or other social sciences. Mathematics can be a strong aid in these areas or a prelude to graduate school.

Many mathematicians find employment as statisticians in government or industry. Currently demand for statisticians is particularly strong. The department offers an undergraduate degree in statistics.

For high school teaching the mathematics education major, earned through the College of Education and Human Development, is the most common preparation. College or university teaching requires more substantial study of mathematics including a doctorate. The department offers both a master’s degree and doctorate program.

Curriculum

All mathematics courses introduce new ways of thinking and develop discipline in thinking carefully and expressing this thought through problem solutions or carefully written arguments.

Every program in mathematics begins with a core of three semesters of Calculus and a course in Linear Algebra. These are some of the most useful courses the department offers because they introduce fundamental tools for describing and understanding the world, especially science and business, and in that they lay the theoretical foundations for most later courses in mathematics.

The following are available from the mathematics and statistics department:

Mathematics major-requires six additional courses beyond the core;
Actuarial science specialization-requires eight courses beyond the core plus six courses in the College of Business Administration. No separate minor is required;
Applied mathematics specialization-requires seven courses beyond the core, two semesters of physics and one semester of computer science. It leads to employment or graduate work in applied mathematics, the sciences or engineering;
Statistics major-requires six courses beyond the core.
Integrated mathematics major-requires seven courses beyond the core plus courses in the College of Education and Human Development;

A minor in mathematics or statistics requires two courses beyond the core. A minor is statistics requires a total of five courses.It is possible for students to earn a limited number of graduate credits during the senior year and complete a master’s degree in mathematics or statistics in one year beyond the bachelor’s degree. The department offers graduate programs through the Ph.D. level.

Faculty and Facilities

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics’ 25 faculty members have all earned doctorates in mathematics or statistics from leading universities. Beginning with calculus, all courses are taught in small sections in order to insure an appropriate level of personal attention.

Students utilize various computer software tools including Maple, Minitab, Matlab and Geometer’s Sketchpad. These are available in the Scientific Computation Laboratory, a classroom currently equipped with Power Macintosh G4’s, and in other computer labs around campus.

Part-time employment is available for undergraduates as tutors in the Mathematics and Statistics Tutoring Center or as graders for the department.

Scholarships and Student Organizations

A number of scholarships exist specifically for students who declare one of the majors described above:

The department has an active chapter of the mathematics honorary society, Kappa Mu Epsilon, which organizes mathematics talks and social activities for undergraduates. The Actuarial Science Society brings prospective employers to campus for talks and interviews. There is also a chapter of the statistics honorary society Mu Sigma Rho.

A variety of honors courses and seminars are offered and there is the possibility of writing an honors research thesis in order to graduate with departmental or university honors.

Preparation for College

Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Students should have four years of college preparatory mathematics in high school. Two, three or four years of the same foreign language is excellent preparation for college. Courses that provide exposure to or training in the visual and performing arts are excellent choices.

While it is not necessary to take calculus in high school, the department offers an advanced placement program to receive credit for all or part of the calculus sequence by taking the Advanced Placement Examinations of the College Entrance Examination Board while in high school.

Program details

To learn more about the official program of study for Mathematics please check the undergraduate catalog on-line at www.bgsu.edu/catalog/A_S/A_S65.html. Consider a minor or second major in Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry Geology, Economics, Business or Biology.

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at www.bgsu.edu.

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Mathematics, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: choose.bgsu.edu/catalog/MATH

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